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More cold weather in the forecast
Officials say be careful, stay warm and use 'common sense'
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Bryan County’s chilly disposition is looking to warm up on Sunday, but the National Weather Service in Charleston says it won’t last.

While temperatures on Thursday, Jan. 3, dropped from the mid-40s to about 20 degrees at night, they are expected to rise up into the low 70s by Sunday afternoon.

"Saturday, temperatures will recover to around normal. Then, rising heights and warm advection will favor a period of above normal temperatures Sunday through Wednesday," the National Weather Service said.

There is a potential for scattered rain showers later in the upcoming week throughout the region, which will be moving just ahead of another approaching cold front. The National Weather Service estimates the weather system carrying the colder air will arrive Wednesday night or Thursday at the earliest.

By next weekend, the temperatures forecasted for Jan. 12 and 13 are expected to drop back into the mid-20s at night, so Coastal Georgia residents should prepare for the cold front.

"Infants and the elderly are especially vulnerable to the cold," said Nurse Manager Joanne Burnsed from the Bryan County Health Department. "As we age, our metabolism slows and we often make less body heat. At the same time, it becomes harder for us to feel temperature changes, so it’s a good idea for seniors to place a thermometer indoors so they can check the temperature of their home during the winter months. Infants also lose body heat more quickly than adults, so they need to be kept warm during these winter cold snaps. Be sure to dress infants in warm clothing and keep the indoor air warm if possible."

Burnsed also recommends that all Bryan Countians dress appropriately whenever the temperatures drop by wearing a hat, scarf, mittens or gloves and several layers of loose-fitting clothes.

During the wintertime, space heaters are often used as a quick fix to help keep homes toasty during the cold stretches.

But the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates more than 25,000 residential fires each year associated with space heaters and, as a result, more than 300 estimated deaths.

"People need to use common sense when they choose to have a space heater," South Bryan Fire Chief Mike Smith said. "One of the biggest tips I can give people is, do not use extension cords. Most of the newer heaters have shorter cords but they should never be used with an extension cord – it can cause so much power that the cord gets too hot. I’ve seen space heaters with extension cords running underneath carpeting and the cord gets hot and the carpet catches fire. It’s a necessity during cold weather, but you really have to handle them with a lot of care."

Hazards of having a space heater, according to the CPSC, can include fires, burns or explosions and/or indoor air pollution and carbon monoxide poisoning caused by improper venting

To help prevent fire or injury from a space heater, the CPSC recommends using a space heater that has been tested and nationally certified and has a guard around the heat source. When the heater is being used in one room of your home, keep doors open to the rest of the house to help prevent pollutant build-up and allow proper combustion and never leave a space heater on when you sleep or leave the room.

Additionally, the CPSC said mobile homes require specially designed heating equipment. Only electric or vented fuel-fired heaters should be used in smaller areas. All space heaters should also be placed at least three feet away from any and all flammable objects or materials.

On top of those precautions, the CPSC recommends general safety precautions such as at least one smoke alarm per floor of a residence; at least one carbon monoxide alarm; at least one ABC-type of fire extinguisher on hand; a fire-escape plan for you and the members of your household and be sure to have annual safety checks on all home heating equipment.

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