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Forecast: End of fall likely frigid
Officials encourage fire, heating safety
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Forsyth County News

Weather tips

The following are some tips for braving winter weather.

Being prepared
• Check on elderly and disabled people living alone. Make sure they are prepared for winter conditions.
• Stock up on non-alcoholic beverages like tea, coffee, hot chocolate and soup.
• Maintain good nutrition and get plenty of rest.

Prepare the home

• Check the batteries in a NOAA Weather Radio.
• Close off unused rooms.
• Stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors.
• Cover windows at night.
• Cover exposed plumbing fixtures and pipes or leave dripping when temperatures drop below freezing.
• Prepare a survival kit with supplies needed to survive for a minimum of three days, including bottled water, nonperishable foods for family and pets, sleeping bags or bedding, extra clothes, medicine, flashlights, a battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio, extra batteries, a first aid kit, and a manual can opener.

Prepare vehicles
• Give a vehicle a maintenance check for tires, brakes, battery, heating and defrosting system and windshield wipers.
• Keep the washer fluid full of a nonfreezing solution.
• Change the antifreeze, if needed, to protect the engine and radiator from freezing in cold temperatures.
• Keep the gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
• Pack and carry a winter storm survival kit, including: blankets or sleeping bags; additional warm clothing; a flashlight with extra batteries; first-aid kit; knife; high-calorie, non-perishable food such as candy bars; small can and water-proof matches to melt snow for drinking; bag of sand or cat litter; shovel; windshield scraper and brush; booster cables

If driving
• Plan travel.
• Check the weather before leaving.
• Know numbers to call and Web sites to check for road conditions.
• Let someone know the timetable and routes.

Watch out for pets
• Make sure pets have plenty of food, water and shelter.
• Move animals to sheltered areas when possible.
• Haul extra feed to nearby feeding areas.
• Have water available; many animals can die from dehydration in winter storms.

Sources: NOAA, Georgia Emergency Management Agency

With the weather forecast calling for continued frigid conditions, authorities are reminding residents to use caution and common sense as they heat their homes.

According to the National Weather Service, daytime high temperatures this week have not topped 40 degrees, though by week’s end they may warm up into 50s. The mercury has dropped into the 20s at night.

While everyone wants to keep warm, their efforts to do so should include caution, said Forsyth County Fire Capt. Jason Shivers.
Shivers said those planning to use a fireplace should first have it inspected by a certified chimney sweep.

Once the fireplace is ready to use, residents should not burn gift wrap and other paper products, he said.

Shivers also recommended having heaters and furnaces inspected by a heating, ventilation and air-conditioning professional.

“We highly recommend against using fueled heating appliances indoors such as propane and kerosene heaters,” Shivers said. “Those can be very dangerous when used indoors, especially if there’s a potential they won’t vent adequately.”

Such heaters pose a danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Shivers also suggested keeping pipes wrapped, protecting outdoor faucets and making sure vehicles are tuned up to reduce the risk of getting stranded.

“Try to keep them full of fuel as much as possible, should you get stranded in a cold environment or a snow or ice situation,” Shivers said.

While there is no snow or ice in the forecast this week, it will remain unseasonably cold for late fall.

The forecast calls for sunny skies the rest of the work week, with a high temperature of 37 degrees today and a low tonight of about 20 degrees.

Thursday could warm to 48 degrees before dropping to 25 after sunset. Temperatures could climb to 52 degrees during the day Friday, but drop that night to 32.

There’s a 40 percent chance of rain on Saturday.