With below-freezing temperatures in the forecast, a few simple steps can keep you and your family safe and your home's pipes from freezing. Please review the below tips to help minimize the possibility or damage.
Prepare your pipes in advance. Remove, drain and store garden hoses used outside. If at all possible, use an inside valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This will reduce the chance of freezing pipes just inside your house.
Check and monitor any exposed pipes in unheated areas such as basements, garages, attics and crawlspaces.
Locate the main water shut off for your home so that if a pipe bursts, you can shut off the water and minimize damage.
Open cabinet doors in the kitchen and bathrooms to let heat in and around the plumbing. Especially important if some of these pipes run up against outside walls. If you open cabinet doors, be sure to remove anything that may pose a safety hazard to children, such as household cleaners.
Keep garage doors closed if there are water pipes or supply lines in the garage. If attached to home and its safe, consider opening the door to the garage to allow some heat from the home to enter the garage. While your heating bill may take a hit, the cost will not compare to the costly price of repairs from water damage.
DO NOT use kerosene or other fuel fed heating devices in your garage to heat it.
Let water drip from faucets served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe (even a few drops a minute) can help prevent pipes from freezing.
DO NOT use a torch, or any other open flame to try and thaw out potentially frozen pipes!
Keep the thermostat set to no lower than 55° F during the evening hours or if you will be leaving the home for an extended period of time (day or night).
Lastly please check on your elderly neighbors and friends who may need additional assistance to ensure their safety and always have working Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Alarms in your home.