Tips on how to keep you and your family safe and warm tonight - KMOV.com

Tips on how to keep you and your family safe and warm tonight

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By Adam McDonald By Adam McDonald

(KMOV.com) -- Last weekend was great. On Saturday, the highs were in the 70s and Sunday had a high of 60. That's not the case this weekend. We're going to have biting cold winds, single digit wind chills, and even the possibility of a couple of inches of snow.

Meteorologist Kristen Cornett says by tonight, temperatures will be in the single digits with wind chill values around -5.

Click here for a full forecast

So with all these possibilities of snow and frigid temps, how can you keep yourself safe and warm? During the past few weeks, firefighters have responded to multiple fires, some deadly, and almost all of them were completely preventable.

On Friday, a 7-year-old girl was killed and a 6-year old was critically injured in a house fire. Investigators say the fire was caused by two space heaters plugged into the same outlet. Last week, a great-grandmother and her two grandchildren were killed during a fire in University City. Fire officials say the cause of this fire was another space heater that was being used improperly. In another case, a north St. Louis man was killed after trying to keep warm by using a hot plate

In an effort to keep people safe and warm, Heat Up St. Louis hosted their annual "Rise and Shine" charity fundraiser on Friday and broke their all time record, receiving $275,000. The money they raise is used to help people who can't afford to pay their heating bills stay warm in winter. 

Video: Heat Up St. Louis aims to prevent fire tragedies

If you do have a space heater or alternative heating source, you may want to check out "How to stay safe when using alternative heating sources." It's a quick read and comes with handy tips that may save your life or someone you know.

“You hear of somebody’s death every day,” said Florissant Valley Fire Marshall Steve Gettemeier. “Literally every day.” He says tragic deaths, like those in University City or the injuries in north St. Louis, can be prevented.

Gettemeier says if you plan to use a Space Heater, it’s important to use it properly. The biggest mistake people make is plugging them into an extension cord which you shouldn’t do.

“I think what most people don’t realize is you can’t plug them into an extension cord,” Gettemeier said. “They have to be plugged directly into an outlet.”

When these fires start, often it is the extension cord that catches fire first since the cords are not designed to handle that much power. The heaters come with built-in protection such as tip-over and thermostat control, and an auto shut-off function that will turn it off if it gets too hot.

As always, we will keep you up-to-date on the developing weather situation this weekend on KMOV.com and on air as well. If you don't have our KMOV Weather app, it's free to download and will always have the latest weather and changes you'll need to know about. Download it here for free.

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