We've been pretty fortunate for most of this winter— we've seen warmer than average for most of the season. An arctic blast is bringing that to a halt tonight— and will bring the coldest afternoon temperatures we've seen in the area in almost 3 years! Afternoon temperatures haven't topped out at 28° or below since February 2019! On top of that, winds will be a bit elevated, so we will have bitterly cold wind chills on tap for the morning drive— with feel like temperatures in single digits. For folks out in western Maryland (Garrett/Allegany Counties) could see wind chill values dip below zero!
With this unseasonably cold air moving in, and recent events— it seems important to go over a couple of safety tips for coping with the heat. Heating is the second leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries, and the third leading cause of home fire deaths.
—Keep items that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment— whether it be a fireplace, furnace, space heaters, etc.
—Have a three-foot “kid-free zone”around open fires and space heaters.
—Never plug a space heater into an extension cord... it should be plugged directly into the wall socket.
—Turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
—As tempting as it may be, you should never use a stove to heat your home.
—Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
—Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
—Test smoke alarms once a month.