Montgomery County, MD - - Montgomery County Fire and Rescue reminds residents that it’s not too late to prepare for the cold weather ahead. With below-freezing temperatures in the forecast this week, a few simple steps can keep your family safe and your home’s pipes from freezing. Fire officials offer the following tips to prepare your home for winter weather:
1. Prepare your pipes in advance. Remove, drain and store garden hoses used outside. If practical, use an inside valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces the chance of freezing pipes just inside your house.
2. Properly winterize automatic landscaping sprinkler systems.
3. Check and monitor any exposed pipes in unheated areas such as basements, garages, attics and crawlspaces.
4. As temperatures drop below freezing, protect indoor sink pipes located along exterior walls by opening under-sink cabinet doors to allow heat to circulate.
5. Consider keeping your thermostat at the same temperature during the day and at night. While temporarily suspending any pre-programmed energy-efficient settings could result in a slightly higher utility bill, it might prevent a costly repair bill if pipes freeze and break.
6. If your pipes break, seek the assistance of a professional plumber and never use a hair dryer or other appliance to thaw frozen pipes – you risk electrocution.
7. If you are going to be away during the cold weather, leave the heat on in your home and set the thermostat no lower than 55 degrees.
8. Mobile homes are typically more vulnerable to frozen pipes so take proper precautions.
9. Stay informed. Sign up for Alert Montgomery. For information, visit https://alert.montgomerycountymd.gov/register.php
Please check on your elderly neighbors and friends who may need additional assistance to ensure their safety and always having working smoke alarms in your home. Visit us at www.mcfrs.org/mcsafe for more safety tips.