Easy steps you can take to help prevent your pipes from freezing in the bitter cold

SOUTHFIELD, MICH (WXYZ) - Six Easy Steps to Prevent Pipes from Freezing:

#1: Keep the heat on. The very minimum temp should be kept at 55 degrees F

#2: If you are afraid a pipe will freeze, you can allow the faucet to drip slightly. Allowing the faucet to be open like this will relieve pressure in the system

#3: Keep Interior Doors Open: Pipes are often located in and under cabinets. When the temperatures drop, it is a good idea to keep these cabinet doors open so that the heat from the rest of the house can keep the pipes warm as well. You should also keep all interior doors open so that the heat can flow throughout the home.

#4: Seal up Cracks and holes: This should be done on both interior and exterior walls. Doing so can help keep the cold air out and the warm air in.

#5: Apply heating tape. For pipes that are easily accessible, the electrical heating tape may be an option to keep them from freezing. This tape can be applied directly to the pipe. There are two types of heating tape. One type of heating tape turns on and off by itself when it senses heat is needed. The other type of heating tape needs to be plugged in when heat is needed and unplugged when not in use. Much like a space heater, these products can be dangerous, so you must follow the product’s direction and safety procedures exactly.

#6:  Pipes that are located in areas that do not have proper insulation such as basements or attics, may need extra insulation to keep from freezing. Pipes in basements or attics are not the only ones that may not be properly insulated from the cold. If you have had a problem with pipes freezing anywhere in your home, extra insulation could be the cure. Pipes can be fitted with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to help decrease the chances of freezing. This can be an easy solution for pipes that are exposed but can get expensive if walls, floors or ceilings have to be opened in order to properly insulate the pipe. Additional insulation can also be added to walls and ceilings to keep the pipes warm.

Four Simple Steps to prevent heat-related fires:

Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.

  1. Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  2. Never use your oven to heat your home.
  3. Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room.
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