With temperatures below freezing this week, first responders are keeping a lookout for fires.

“With the colder weather we realize that the public will be using heaters more and finding ways to heat their homes,” said Tad Richardson, deputy chief of operations for Carroll County Fire Rescue. “We do ask that anytime additional heating appliances are used that they are checked and serviced regularly to check for proper function. Dealing with fireplaces, we ask that they are inspected annually by a professional.”

Carrollton Fire Department arson investigator Bill Lambert said that this time of year there are more chimney fires. Lambert said anyone who loses power should not run their generator inside.

“Even though there has been lots of rain, the leaves and pine straw are dry,” Richardson said. “For anyone who wants to have fireworks we ask that they are done in a place where there is no foliage around, such as a driveway.”

Lambert cautioned to also watch out for children who may be near flames or fire starters.

“Because residents will be bringing things out to heat their homes, such as matches or fire starters, we want to remind parents to put those items away after use,” Lambert said. “It is a busy time of year and we want to keep our residents, their children, and all homes safe.”

Both county and city fire departments are asking residents to check their smoke detectors as well as carbon monoxide detectors to ensure safety during the cold weather season.

“It is very important that residents check their carbon monoxide detectors,” said Lambert. “Go ahead and change the batteries or check the outlet to make sure that it is working at its fullest. Check your smoke detectors while you are at it.”

Carroll County Emergency Management Agency Director Tim Padgett said that with the drop in temperatures, pet owners should bring their animals inside.

“With how cold the weather is we will be checking on it daily to make sure no bad weather approaches,” he said. “For now, stay warm and bundle up because it is cold. When the weather does get really cold it is always a good idea to bring your pets inside.”

Padgett said some of the shelters have opened up to keep everyone warm and safe.

“I know that Tabernacle is open for the cold weather,” he said, referring to Tabernacle Baptist Church in Carrollton. “Everyone needs to check the weather radar daily and when temperatures are below freezing, bring your pets inside.”

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