Advice for staying safe in the cold

Published On: Jan 03 2014 05:18:59 AM EST   Updated On: Jan 03 2014 08:16:24 PM EST

VIDEO: Winter days like these are prime times for the heat to go out at your home. When everyone's trying to stay warm, that means big business for the people who make their living keeping your home's heating system running smoothly.


It will be a chilly start to the weekend because many of our area inland counties are under a freeze warning until 9 a.m. Friday. Duval County is currently under a wind chill advisory. 

While we do not have to deal with snow in our area, it's still important to take some precautions so everything in your home can stay warm and safe.

Earth Works Garden Center sells cold weather blankets to make sure your plants can make it through the freeze. Matt Barlow of Earth Works recommends using cloth to cover your plants, rather than plastic tarps.

“If the plastic touches the leaves, it can actually increase the cold effects. It’s the breathability of the cotton or the mesh blankets that keep the plants protected,” said Barlow.

If you are turning on your central heat, JEA spokeswoman Gerri Boyce urges customers to warm their home up slowly.

“We want you only to change your thermostat one or two degrees at a time. That will help you avoid the use of your auxiliary or emergency power. That power is three time more expensive because those heat strips have to work really really hard to heat that quickly,” said Boyce.

If you are using a space heater, Randy Wyse with the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters said there are three important things to remember:

  1. Always place the space heater on a flat surface, never leave it on furniture.
  2. Keep the heater more than 3 feet from anything flammable.
  3. Never leave the space heater on when you go to sleep.

While these tips may seem like common sense, Wyse said it’s worth a reminder because every year they see deadly space heater fires that could have been avoided with some simple precautions.


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