Firies warning as cold snap returns
NEW South Wales Fire and Rescue Grafton have warned residents to be fire-smart ahead of a cold snap returning to the Valley.
Following a balmy weekend of clear days, the Clarence Valley is expected to shiver again with a cold front sweeping through later today.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Andrew Haigh had a simple message for Valley residents.
"You will definitely want to be rugging up tight Monday night and into Tuesday," he said.
"The cold front moving in from the south-west region will directly replace the warm air pockets over the Clarence Valley about early afternoon Monday with the temperature peaking for that day at about 11am.
"The temperature will drop off considerably for the remainder of Monday with the Valley staring at lows of two early on Tuesday morning."
With temperatures set to drop, NSW Fire and Rescue has reignited its campaign, Operation Cold Snap, to make residents aware of the dangers involved in house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Grafton Fire and Rescue station captain Garry Reardon said their job was to ensure the safety of residents in the colder months.
"Firefighters are well aware of the impact of cold weather on our communities as we see a spike in the number of fires in the home," he said.
"Our job is to protect life and property, which is why our firefighters will be out and about over the next two weeks talking with people about what they can do to reduce the risk of a fire in their home."
Community awareness is the number one preventative measure in battling house fires and fire-related deaths.
Rather than focus on one particular age group, the Grafton station is branching its message across all people in the community.
"We will be conducting fire education at schools, speaking with seniors groups and engaging with the community to get the message across," Captain Reardon said.
"We hope this initiative will go a long way to reducing the ongoing risk that many people unknowingly expose their families and themselves to during the current cold snap".
Nearly half of all home fires and most fire-related injuries occur in kitchens, between 6pm and 7pm, according to statistics.
"But we also need to make people aware about the associated risks involved with heaters, electric blankets and the improper use of outdoor cooking and heating appliances for indoor heating purposes," Captain Reardon said.