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Winter Freeze Tips
Icicles
Winter storms pose serious threats to people, pets and property. Extreme cold, freezing rain, snow and strong winds can be especially dangerous. Take precautions now to protect your family and your home.

Before
  • Keep space heaters away from flammable materials. NEVER leave them unattended!
  • Bring pets indoors.
  • When using supplemental heating sources such as fireplaces, kerosene space heaters, make sure you have proper ventilation and a carbon monoxide detector in place. Always take your space heater outside to refill it.
  • Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace batteries every six months.
  • Move all vehicles inside the garage if possible. Never leave a vehicle running with the garage door down.
  • Prepare an emergency survival kit:
    • battery-powered NOAA weather radio and portable AM/FM radio
    • blankets/sleeping bags
    • first aid supplies
    • flashlights
    • extra batteries
    • extra medicines and baby items
    • three-day supply of non-perishable food and water
    • pet items and food.
  • Insulate all exposed water pipes outside the home.

During
  • Stay inside.
  • Close-off unoccupied rooms in the home.
  • DO NOT use charcoal-burning devices.
  • Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing. Remove layers as needed to avoid overheating, perspiration and subsequent chill.
  • Set the thermostat in your house no lower than 55 degrees.
  • Allow a slow trickle of water to flow especially if the faucet is on an exterior wall. (Be sure both the hot and cold faucets are flowing.)
  • Open spigots to allow a small, continuous drip to prevent freezing.
  • Remove garden hoses and drain water from spigots.
  • Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to uninsulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.
  • Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids and eat high-caloric foods.

After
  • Never try to thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame or torch. Shut off the water and call a licensed plumber.
  • Clear walkways and sidewalks to prevent injury, but use caution to avoid overexertion.
  • Identify possible damage.
  • Report damage, such as broken pipes and downed tree branches to power lines, to the city and avoid the area to prevent personal injury.