With predictions of
much colder weather and significant snow accumulation across much of the
state this weekend, Indiana American Water is urging customers to secure
homes and businesses against freezing pipes and to make sure snow is cleared
from around fire hydrants so firefighters can locate and operate them
quickly in an emergency.
winter season can pose many challenges to a homeowner, two of the biggest
are hydrants blocked by snow and ice and the risk of frozen pipes and fire,”
Indiana American Water President Deborah Dewey said.
“Ice or snow
covered fire hydrants can cause delays in critical fire situations,” Dewey
added. “Experience has shown that fires can double in size every 30 to 60
seconds, leading to more severe injuries and trauma, an increase in
fire-related deaths, and heavier damage to structures. Homeowners should
clear the area around their hydrants as soon as possible after the snow
stops falling to protect their homes and families.”
“Failing to protect
your plumbing from cold temperatures can also be very risky,” Dewey noted.
“When ice expands inside pipes, it can crack and burst them, leaving
homeowners with a costly plumbing bill, and thousands of dollars in damages
from water leaking inside the house.”
following winterization tips now can help avoid headaches later:
¥Search your house
for uninsulated pipes, especially in unheated areas. Consider wrapping pipes
with electric heating tape, but follow manufacturer's instructions carefully
to avoid a fire hazard.
¥Seal cracks and
holes in outside walls and foundations with caulking, especially where cable
TV or phone lines enter the house, to keep cold winds away from pipes.
¥If your home is
heated by a hot-water radiator, bleed the valves by opening them slightly.
Close them when water appears.
¥Make certain the
water to your hose bibs is shut off inside your house (via a turnoff valve),
and the lines are drained.
¥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 55 degrees if you’re going out of town. Although you may be able to get
away with a lower temperature, this setting is considered to be safe for
your water heater in an insulation blanket. While not really at danger for
freezing, this can lower your heating bills.
information on preventing frozen pipes is available at