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Sunday May 24th, 2015 9:24AM

Cold weather could make for dangerous situations, officials warn

By Staff
GAINESVILLE - With temperatures expected to drop in Hall County over the next few days, Hall County Fire Officials are encouraging residents to take extra precautions during the cold weather. As temperatures drop, the number of residential fires usually increases.

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

Fire officials recommend that residents consider the following safety guidelines when using fireplaces or 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 your 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.

When using electric space heaters, remember:

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