Tips from Toby: Get ready for winter

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - We've already seen some cold nights, winter is not far behind. If you're bringing your plants indoors, it's a good idea to give them a nice cleaning and also make sure you're not bringing in any unwanted pests. Lightly wash the leaves with a mix of warm water and insecticidal soap. Also, give your plants a good drink as you bring them in and make sure you don't place them near any heating vents.

If you have those beautiful ornamental grasses near your home, this is a good time to cut them back. These dry out in the winter time and all it takes is a small spark to ignite. Tie a rope or twine around the base and trim them back to about 10 inches from the base. You can use any type of hedge trimmers to cut the stalks and they'll grow back again next Spring.

With the holiday lights going up, furnaces coming on, decorative candles, cooking, etc. tis the season for home fires. Do you know where your fire extinguisher is? If you have one of these old red dinosaurs it's time to upgrade to a product called Cold Fire. It's all natural and you can even spray it right on your skin and have a good chance of walking right out of a house fire without getting badly burned. I put one of these in every bedroom, the kitchen, garage and they even have models that won't freeze for your car. They retail for around 20 bucks and this will give you a huge piece of mind!

The chilly nights mean furnaces have been firing up all over town. You should check the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector. If you don't have one, get one now. It's best to have one on every floor. Also, now is the time to check all the batteries in your smoke alarms as well.

Don't forget about those hoses that are still connected outside. The fastest way to a burst pipe is to leave the hose on during a freeze. Unscrew the hose now and bring them in for the winter.

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