Brewton, Escambia schools will be open on time Tuesday
Already cold temperatures in the Brewton area will take a dive tonight and early Tuesday morning, with the thermometer predicted to be at about 12 degrees at 6 a.m. — with a wind chill that makes it feel like zero.
Brewton city and Escambia County school officials said classes are scheduled to be open on time Tuesday morning, but they continue to monitor weather conditions. No precipitation is expected today or tomorrow to make travel unsafe.
The National Weather Service in Mobile has issued a wind chill advisory for Escambia County, which will begin tonight at 9 p.m. and remain in effect until 9 a.m. Tuesday morning.
The NWS reports that wind chills from 7 degrees to minus-2 degrees may be possible tonight and through early Tuesday morning.
A wind chill advisory means that very cold air and strong winds will combine to generate bitterly cold wind chills of less than 10 degrees. This could result in frostbite and lead to hypothermia if precautions are not taken.
The NWS recommends that anyone who has to travel outdoors during this time should wear layered clothing, including a hat and gloves.
The weather is expected to be warmer later in the week, with a forecasted high of 50 degrees Wednesday and a low of 30 degrees. Thursday’s high is forecasted at 61 degrees, with a low of 41 degrees.
The Alabama fire marshal’s office has some tips for staying safe in the cold weather.
Home heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths, injuries and property damage, and with bitter cold freezing temperatures and wind chills forecast for the next few days.
• Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable space heater.
• Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
• Never use your oven to heat your home.
• Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to state and local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
• Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
• Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
• Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters. Never use natural gas in LP gas appliances or vice versa.
• Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
• Remember test your smoke alarms monthly.
• Plug only one heat-producing appliance, such as a space heater, into an electrical outlet at a time.
“Over half of Alabama’s home heating fires are reported during the colder months of December, January, and February, so using common sense could easily save your life,” Alabama State Fire Marshal Ed Paulk said.
Nationally, heating equipment is involved in one of every seven house fires and one in every six home fire deaths.
More fire safety information is available online at firemarshal.alabama.gov or you may phone your SFMO, a division of the Alabama Department of Insurance at 334-241-4166. To report arson or a suspicious fire you may contact the Alabama Arson Hotline at 1-800-654-0775.