Valdosta Daily Times

October 29, 2012

Stay warm, safe in the cold

The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — While South Georgia should feel little brunt from Hurricane Sandy, we are still expected to experience abnormally low temperatures and wind gusts throughout the next couple of days.

Some forecasts on Monday placed morning lows in the 30s today and Wednesday with a potential wind-chill factor making these temperatures feel like they have dipped to the low 20s.

 While these cooler days may provide a literal breath of fresh air after the long hot summer and early fall, it may also cause issues with heaters being fired up earlier than usual.

Dust can collect in vents causing smoke. Such dust can also ignite.

Using fireplaces with dirty chimneys, space heaters, candles, and any other type of unconventional heat sources are the cause of dozens of fires each year. Most fire-related deaths occur from smoke inhalation late at night while the home’s occupants are sleeping, and it only takes a matter of minutes for smoke to overtake a home’s interior, especially if there are no smoke detectors.

Outdoor plants may need to either be brought inside or covered in order to protect them against the cold.

Outdoor animals need a warm shelter on cold nights.

Consider bringing your pets indoors if at all possible for a few nights, and remember that unheated garages can get as cold as the outdoors and are not necessarily the answer for your pets.

South Georgia gets so little cold that many are caught unprepared even during the weeks late in one year and early in the next when such weather does normally arrive here. But such low temperatures falling at such an unexpected time may catch even more people off guard.

A few simple precautions can save aggravation and lives.