It’s been a relatively nice afternoon, but there’s plenty of winter still to come.

With that in mind the Stratford Fire Department is urging you to plan ahead for weather related emergencies.

Ontario has already had record cold temperatures, blizzard conditions and a devastating ice storm this winter.

Director of Fire Prevention Tim Adair says when the power goes out people often do things that can cause fires or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Here is a list of tips from the Stratford Fire Department you can use to help prevent tragedy in your home:

•Ensure working smoke alarms are installed on every level of your home.

•Ensure a working Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector is installed outside your sleeping area.

•If your smoke alarms and CO alarms are connected to your home’s electrical system, make sure they have battery-backups and a hush feature (if applicable) so they will still work during a power outage.

•If your smoke alarms are more than 10 years old, and CO alarms are more than 5 years old, these out of date devices should be replaced as per the manufacturers and the Ontario Fire Marshals recommendations.

•Flashlights, glow lights and battery-operated lanterns are a safer option than candles.  Keep several on       hand, along with fresh batteries.

•Keep a supply of ready-to-eat tinned and packaged foods. Barbecues must never be used indoors.

•Invest in a battery-operated or hand crank radio so you can stay up to date with the latest emergency information.

•Remember that cordless phones require electrical power to operate.  Keep your cell phone charged and consider purchasing a phone that does not require electricity.

•Create a family Emergency Preparedness Action Plan using the online tool developed by the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management.

The plan can be found at: https://beprepared.emergencymanagementontario.ca/myplan