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Gwinnett fire offers safety tips for wintry weather

LAWRENCEVILLE —As Friday’s bone-chilling temperatures not-so-kindly reminded us, winter has officially come to the South.

With that in mind, the Gwinnett County fire department has offered up several tips for staying safe in a potentially icy enviroment.

• Avoid playing, skating, or driving over any frozen body of water. This includes lakes, ponds, creeks, and ditches. Remember that only the surface area is frozen, and the ice is extremely thin. It will not be thick enough to hold the weight of an adult, child or large animal.

• If you have an open body of water on your property, keep an eye out for children who may be adventurist. Post warnings around the area and provide an access barrier whenever possible.

• Dress in layers of warm, insulated clothing and limit time out in the cold weather.

• Monitor weather and road conditions before going out for the day and notify family and friends of your plans.

• Use home heating appliances in a safe manner. Remember to extinguish the fire in the fireplace and turn off space heaters before going to bed or leaving the house.

• Install and maintain working smoke alarms and a carbon monoxide alarm inside the home. Develop a home escape plan and hold fire drills to practice.