Roads, pavements and cycle paths will be dangerously icy overnight with temperatures expected to drop below freezing, according to the Met Office.
A weather warning has been issued for West Sussex, which is valid starting from 5pm this evening (Friday January 15) until 10am tomorrow (Saturday).
The warning follows a serious crash on the A24 involving a bus and a van as well as a number of smaller collisions in the county this morning.
Temperatures will fall sharply after dark today, causing icy patches to form on untreated surfaces, particularly where there have been showers today.
The Met Office said clear skies will allow temperatures to drop ‘widely below freezing’, causing slippery roads and difficult travel conditions.
Meanwhile, firefighters have urged residents to take simple precautions so they stay safe in their homes.
West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service’s community fire safety manager, Jackie Boyle, said: “With the onset of this very cold weather, many of us are spending more time indoors trying to keep as warm as possible.
“Understandably, some people may be turning to extra heat sources like electric blankets and portable heaters to keep out the winter chill, but these bring with them an increased risk of fire in your home.
“More accidental fires occur in the winter than any other times so we recommend people take a few simple precautions to ensure they stay safe as well as warm during this cold snap.
“Older residents often feel the cold more and can be particularly vulnerable, so it’s especially important for friends, relatives and neighbours to keep an eye out for them.
“Don’t forget we offer free home fire safety visits for those over 65 or those who may be at higher risk of fire. A visit can significantly reduce the risk of a fire occurring and give you that extra peace of mind.”
The service has issued safety advice including:
- Switch portable heaters off when you are not in the room and keep them well away from anything that could catch light like furnishings
- Never put anything on/over a portable heater or use it to dry clothes
- Never use an oven to heat your home
- Unplug electric blankets before you get into bed, unless they have a thermostat control for safe all-night use
- Have your chimney professionally swept at least once a year, twice a year if burning wood
- Never leave candles and tea lights unattended and make sure they are placed on a heat resistant surface
- Working smoke alarms save lives - test yours regularly and think about elderly or vulnerable relatives or friends who may need assistance testing theirs
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