When temperatures dipped below freezing recently, we were reminded of the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our family and pets.

Fire protection professionals warn us to be careful when using space heaters and fireplaces to stay warm, because the risk of household fires increases, as well as the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Never leave children unattended near a space heater. Ensure adequate ventilation if you must use a kerosene heater. Use electric area heaters with an automatic shut-off switch and a nonglowing heating element. Do not place a space heater within 3 feet of anything that may catch on fire, such as drapes, furniture or bedding, and never cover your space heater.

Move family pets indoors or to an enclosure out of the elements. Likewise, protect livestock or other large animals from the cold weather.

Ribbon-cutting ceremony

To celebrate the official opening of St. Helena College and Career Academy, there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday at the campus, 14340 La. 37, Greensburg.

For information, contact the school board office at (225) 222-4349.

Free GED classes to begin

Registration is now open for adult education classes at Northshore Technical Community College Florida Parishes Campus, 948 La. 1042, Greensburg.

The classes are free and are held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Morning and afternoon classes are available.

Registration is at 8 a.m. on Jan. 26, Feb. 9, Feb. 23, March 9 and March 23. Call (225) 222- 4251.

Contact Stephanie Warren by phone at (985) 517-4869 or send email to swarren@theadvocate.com.