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Cold front sliding into North Georgia
Officials urge caution with stoves and heaters
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Cold weather safety tips

For fireplaces and wood stoves:

  • Use only seasoned hardwood. Soft, moist wood accelerates creosote buildup.
  • Build small fires that burn completely and produce less smoke.
  • Never burn cardboard boxes, trash or debris in a fireplace or wood stove.
  • Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.
  • Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house.
  • Soak hot ashes in water and place them in a metal container outside your home.

For electric space heaters:

  • Space heaters need space. Keep items at least three feet away from each heater — in front, behind, above, and below.
  • When buying a space heater, only buy one with a safety feature that automatically shuts off the power if the heater falls over, and that has been evaluated by a testing laboratory.
  • Space heaters require a large amount of electricity. When using a space heater, do not plug anything else into the same outlet.
  • Never leave space heaters unattended. Turn them off and unplug them when leaving the home or when going to bed at night.

To avoid carbon monoxide buildup:

  • Never use your range or oven to help heat a home and never use a charcoal grill or hibachi in a home or garage.
  • Never keep a car running in a garage. Even if the garage doors are open, normal circulation will not provide enough fresh air to reliably prevent a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide.
  • Install at least one carbon monoxide alarm with an audible warning signal near the sleeping areas and outside individual bedrooms.

That flame flickering in your porch jack-o’-lantern may be a tempting place for trick-or-treaters to warm their hands this Halloween.

The waning days of October will bring clear skies, a full moon and the coldest temperatures of the fall so far as a cold front slides through North Georgia.

As residents of the Northeast deal with a killer hurricane turned nor’easter, Georgians will get a little frost on their pumpkins.

Today’s high is only expected to reach the low 50s, with northwestern winds gusting up to 35 mph. Tonight’s low will dip to the mid-30s and may dip below freezing in some areas of the Georgia mountains.

Tuesday’s high will stay near 50, with temps back down to the mid-30s overnight.

Clear skies and cool temps are expected to continue through midweek before a warmup toward the weekend. And there’s not a drop of rain in the five-day forecast.

Also, as temperatures drop, the number of residential fires usually increases, Hall County fire officials said.

Fire prevention officials encourage residents to take extra precautions.

“Many times, people just don’t understand the risk involved in using alternative heating methods. They are trying to keep costs down, and stay warm, and sometimes those things just don’t add up”, said Capt. Scott Cagle, Hall County Fire Marshal.

Cagle urged special precautions for the use of wood stoves or fireplaces as well as space heaters.

Carbon monoxide is another problem that can develop during the winter months, Cagle said.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas. It can come from gas-fired appliances, charcoal grills, wood-burning furnaces or fireplaces, and motor vehicles. Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms are similar to flu symptoms. These symptoms include headaches, dizziness, disorientation, nausea and fatigue. Carbon monoxide poisoning is deadly.

“This is also a good time to check the operation of your smoke alarms, and design and practice your home escape plan,” Cagle said.

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