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These are tips to protect your home in freezing weather this winter

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Posted at 10:56 PM, Jan 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-06 07:08:58-05

INDIANAPOLIS — As temperatures continue to tumble across Central Indiana, Indiana American Water is telling customers to act now to protect their homes and businesses.

One Indianapolis apartment complex also put out signs with tips for residents.

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River Ridge at Keystone Apartments displays a sign telling residents to let faucets drip when the temperature is below freezing. The first week of January will be filled with cold temperatures across Central Indiana.
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River Ridge at Keystone Apartments put signs around the complex to remind residents what to do when temperatures drop.

“Failing to protect your plumbing from cold temperatures can be disruptive and very costly. When ice expands inside pipes, it creates tremendous pressure that can crack and burst them, leaving homeowners with a costly plumbing bill, and thousands of dollars in water damage," said Indiana American Water President Matt Prine in a news release.

The company offers the following tips:

  • Search your house for uninsulated pipes, especially in unheated areas. Consider wrapping pipes with foam insulation or electric heating tape but follow manufacturer's instructions carefully to avoid a fire hazard.
  • Check to make sure your garage door and crawl space doors/vents are closed.
  • Leave cabinet doors open in kitchen and bathroom areas to allow warm air to circulate and consider letting a faucet drip to keep water moving through the pipes.
  • If you have young children, relocate any chemicals of cleaners that may have otherwise been out of reach behind the cabinet doors.
  • Seal cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations with caulking, especially where cable TV or phone lines enter the house, to keep cold air away from pipes.
  • Make certain the water to your hose bibs is shut off inside your house (via a turnoff valve), the lines are drained, and the hose is disconnected from the spigot.
  • Drain and shut off entirely the water to any unoccupied residence such as a summer or vacation home. A loss of power during a winter storm could cause pipes to freeze. If you intend to leave a property entirely without heat, be sure to drain all water to prevent the possibility of frozen pipes.
  • Set the thermostat at no lower than 55 degrees if you’re going out of town. Although you may be able to get away with a lower temperature, this setting is generally considered to be safe for pipes.
  • Make sure you know where your main water shut-off valve is in case you need to shut your water off it in an emergency.
  • Consider wrapping your water heater in an insulation blanket. While not really at danger for freezing, this can lower your heating bills.

For more on frozen pipes, click here.

The Bloomington Fire Department shared these safety tips for fire and carbon monoxide alarms:

  • Place space heaters on a floor that is flat and level. Do not put space heaters on rugs or carpets. Keep the heater at least three feet from bedding, drapes, furniture, and other flammable materials; and place space heaters out of the flow of foot traffic. Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
  • To prevent the risk of fire, NEVER leave a space heater on when you go to sleep or place a space heater close to any sleeping person. Turn the heater off when you leave the area.
  • If you have a fire hydrant close to your home please clear a three foot circle around it while you are clearing snow. The time it takes the fire department to locate and clear a hydrant before it can be used is time that could be used in fighting a fire in your home or a neighbor's home.