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Cold weather heating, safety tips

The cold snap had local groups from shelters to schools in preparation mode.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s emergency management director, Jeff Dulin, urged people to sign up for alerts at charmeckalerts.org to receive weather, emergency and other updates by phone, email or text. At the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, executive director Carson Dean said his agency is ready to handle any increase in usage at the two shelters it runs.

The Humane Society of Charlotte recommends that people keep their pets indoors during cold weather.

Local officials also reminded people of these tips:

Keep fresh batteries on hand for flashlights and weather radios.

If pipes are vulnerable to freezing, keep the faucet at a slow drip. Plumbers say it’s best to use the faucet farthest from where water enters the house. And never use an open flame to thaw a pipe.

Do not burn charcoal indoors because that can produce carbon monoxide fumes.

Keep at least a three-day supply of nonperishable food at home.

Keep electric generators outside and away from any open windows or doors.

Keep cellphones charged.

Make sure space heaters are in good working order. In the past five years, 1 of every 7 space heater fires caused a death, according to Medic.

When the sun is shining Thursday, keep your blinds open on sunny sides of the house. The solar heat will help warm your home.

ENERGY-SAVING TIPS

Turn thermostats to the lowest comfortable setting when home, and then another degree or two when leaving home.

Turn off unneeded lights.

Put off household chores that use electrical appliances.

Unplug cell phone and tablet chargers when not in use.

Reverse ceiling fan rotations to clockwise, which pushes down warm air.

Leave drapes or blinds open to let sunlight warm the home.

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