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Fire chief urges Hunter residents not to take risks as temperatures plummet

Saturday July 11, 2015 - 10:16 EST
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Acting Fire Commissioner Jim Smith said with the cool weather comes a warning, to stay safe when using heaters. - ABC

As the Hunter braces for a cold snap, the state's fire chief is urging residents not to take risks to stay warm.

A strong cold front is expected to cross the state this afternoon and tonight, with very cold, gale-force winds.

Forecasters say snow is likely on the Barrington Tops over the next few days.

Acting Fire Commissioner Jim Smith said with the cool weather comes a warning, to stay safe when using heaters.

"One of the biggest issues we have had of late has been carbon monoxide poisoning because people have used outdoor heaters," he said.

"We know things are tough as far as electricity prices and that but please, please make sure you have a correct heater, if it's an inside heater and please check your smoke alarms because working smoke alarms in most cases will save lives."

Mr Smith said people need to take care that they are staying warm safely and not misusing heating or cooking devices.

"We've seen this before where you get a really sharp cold snap," he said.

"Things like electricity have gone up over the years so people go, can't afford to put on the electric heater, they look at using a gas heater or something from outside.

"But please be very, very careful because we can never replace lives."

The cold front is expected to bring cloud and rain which could fall as snow up to 600 metres. Meteorologist Grant Conway said overnight minimums will be slightly lower than overnight lows experienced this week.

"We're looking at 2 and 4 on Sunday morning and there may be some areas, especially around the Barrington Tops that snow may fall but otherwise it shouldn't be very widespread," he said.

Mr Conway said the cold front will bring increased moisture to the region.

"So that rain, that precipitation may fall as snow in the higher peaks so that's where we're talking about the snow, otherwise it's just going to be quite a lot of clouds," he said.


© ABC 2015

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