Tips to prepare for the cold snap |

Tips to prepare for the cold snap

NICOLE FORMOSAsummit daily news

SUMMIT COUNTY – With temperatures forecast to dip well into the negative teens this weekend, Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue is offering the public tips to keep their homes safe.Temperatures are forecast to plummet to 14 below zero Sunday night, 15 below on Monday night and 17 below on Tuesday night, according to the National Weather Service.When temperatures get that cold, the fire department’s biggest concern is people improperly attempting to thaw frozen pipes, said Lake Dillon public information officer Brandon Williams.”We’ve already had several fires this year that were started by people using inappropriate methods to thaw pipes,” Williams said.To keep pipes from freezing in the first place, Williams suggests:- leaving a cold water tap running just above a drip;- leaving interior cupboard doors under sinks open;- maintaining temperature in the house at a base of 60 degrees Fahrenheit, particularly if the unit is unoccupied;- sealing any leaks that allow cold air inside where pipes are located;- locating and insulating pipes susceptible to freezing, such as near outside walls, in crawl spaces and in attics. If the pipes do freeze, the best option is always to contact a licensed plumber, especially if the pipe is cracked.If you discover a frozen pipe and do not find any cracks or fractured fittings, turn on a cold water tap downstream of that location. This will enable the resumption of water flow to alert you when the pipe is thawed. Using an electric hair dryer or towels soaked in hot water, apply heat slowly to the frozen section of pipe. A portable heater may be used to apply heat, but make sure the temperature is set very low to allow for a slow thaw and ensure the heater is not placed too close to any flammable materials, such as insulation.An open flame, heat gun or other high-intensity heating device should never be used to thaw pipes.If you have any questions, call Williams at (970) 513-4201.Nicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-4629, or at

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