Cold weather blows in

By Zack Smith - email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The weather outside is about to get frightful.  Very cold air is on target to invade the area this weekend and for all of next week.

We will see daytime temperatures in the 30's and the wind chill could make it feel more like 20 degrees or even colder outside.

When it gets cold, you need to be extra careful.  Heating your home can be dangerous.

Several years ago, a family in south charlotte died after bringing in a charcoal grill to heat their apartment. Carbon Monoxide is one of the worries with temperatures expected to dip into the teens. Another concern is chimney fires. Some folks wait for these really cold temps before firing up the fireplace.  Dirty chimneys often lead to fires.

We've warned you about space heaters before .  Don't leave them unattended.  Don't put them too close to anything that can catch fire.  And they need to be kept clean.  Dust and lint build up inside, and that can also spark a fire.

You also want to make sure your pipes don't freeze.  Wrap and insulate your pipes.  Leave the faucet dripping to keep the water moving.  There are plenty of cheap things you can do to avoid paying for the damage caused by a burst pipe.

Cold weather shelters in Charlotte and Rock Hill are opening tonight and through the weekend so those in need have the necessities to survive the cold.  There are options available so those who need the help can find shelter from the cold and a hot meal.