Batten down the hatches as near-record cold weather invades

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A burst of Arctic air is on its way to Region 8, arriving just in time for Winter Weather Awareness Week in Arkansas.

It wouldn't take more than a week, however, to winterize your household against near record-breaking cold weather.

Fire Protection Specialist Blaine Bagwell is rolling up his sleeves with a schedule filled with chimney inspections.

"Making sure the creosote buildup is to a minimum and make sure the flue isn't cracked. Keeping it clean will also make it function properly. It'll draft the way it's supposed to."

Getting the chimney cleaned now can prevent dangers such as carbon monoxide poisoning and flue fires.

"36% of house fires are caused by dirty fireplaces and a lot of people don't realize it until it's too late."

While you're outside, clear those gutters around your house to prevent rain water backing up and freezing.

Other items on the to-do list should include checking for at least one foot of insulation in the attic.

Harold Hoots with Barton's Do-It Center says one of the most important things to do is insulate exposed pipes.

"You can actually buy a split foam pipe that just fits over it and you can just tape it. You can also get insulation that's like the pad insulation that you put in your wall that's actually like 3 inches wide that you can wrap the pipe with."

If the faucet were burst inside a wall, it would cause damage to masonry or sheetrock.

From faucet covers to weather stripping, Hoots says spending a couple dollars can go a long way.

"Check your windows and doors to see if you have air coming in because if you can stop that now you can save yourself a bundle on your heat and air."

A Freeze Warning is in effect for the following counties in Region 8: Baxter, Cleburne, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Sharp, Stone, White, Woodruff.

The National Weather Service has released its outlook for the upcoming winter:

Meteorologist Bryan McCormick will have the story tonight on Region 8 News at 5 and 6.

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