Troy officials urge residents to prepare for extreme cold

frost-on-window generic winter snow

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TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Troy officials are giving residents suggestions on fire safety, home heating and staying safe in the extreme cold. Temperatures are expected to reach single digits across the Capital Region through Sunday.

“With below freezing temperatures forecast for the next several days, Troy residents should take precautions to protect their homes and families against common winter issues. I urge all Trojans to make smart choices to reduce the risk of fire, property damage, and avoid cold weather-related issues this winter,” said Mayor Patrick Madden.

Extreme cold

Residents are urged to take these precautions to prevent pipes from freezing.

  • Keep your thermostat set to the same temperature for both day and night, even when you are not home.
  • Close all exterior doors, including garage doors and other exterior entryways.
  • Open hot and cold faucets to a slow drip during the coldest time of the day or night.
  • Keep kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open to allow heat to reach un-insulated pipe near exterior walls.
  • Know the location of your internal shut off valves in case of a leak or frozen pipe.

If a pipe is found to have frozen, keep the faucet open and contact a licensed plumber immediately. If a household water pipe bursts, turn off the water at the internal shut-off valve.

“Extreme cold can cause significant problems for interior and exterior household water pipes, causing them to break inside basements or exterior walls and disrupt access to water service,” said Superintendent of Public Utilities Chris Wheland. “Residents and business owners should take proactive steps to avoid the inconvenience of losing running water or the financial burden and potential property damage caused by broken water pipes inside their home or property.”

Residents should also plan to keep their pets inside during extreme cold weather.

Fire safety

According to the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (NYSDHSES), heating equipment is among the leading causes of home fires nationally and in New York State. NYSDHSES has some suggestions to reduce the risk of fire in your home or busimess.

  • Buy and carefully maintain a quality smoke and carbon monoxide detector.
  • Inspect your home to eliminate or control fire hazards.
  • Install at least 5-pound A-B-C type fire extinguishers in the home and teach family members how to use them.
  • Establish a well-planned escape route with the entire family.
  • If you have an older home, have the wiring checked by a qualified electrician to make sure it meets current building codes.
  • If you have a chimney and fireplace in your home, have it cleaned and inspected yearly for creosote build-up, cracks, crumbling bricks or mortar and any obstructions.
  • Keep storage areas clean and tidy.
  • Keep curtains, towels and potholders away from hot surfaces.
  • Store solvents and flammable cleaners away from heat sources. 
  • Never keep gasoline in the house.
  • Inspect extension cords for frayed or exposed wires or loose plugs.
  • Space heaters should be no less than three feet away from walls, furniture and combustible items.
  • Never use an extension cord with a space heater, or place them on a bed.

Home heating

Here are some heating suggestions from the U.S. Department of Energy on how to save energy and save money during the winter months.

  • Take advantage of heat from the sun. During the day, open curtains on south-facing windows to allow sunlight to heat your home. Close them at night to reduce chill from cold windows.
  • Cover drafty windows. Use heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames.
  • Adjust the temperature. When at home and awake, set your thermostat as low as comfortable.
  • Find and seal leaks. Seal air leaks around utility cut-throughs for water pipes, gaps around chimneys and recessed lights, and unfinished spaces in cupboards and closets.
  • Heating system maintenance. Schedule a service for your heating system. Homes with furnaces and heat pumps should replace the filter once a month (or as needed). Homes with wood or pellet-burning heaters should clean the flue vent regularly; clean the inside periodically to ensure your home is heated efficiently.
  • Lower holiday lighting costs. When decorating your home for the holidays, use LED holiday lights to reduce energy costs.
  • Lower water heating costs. Cover your water heater with an approved water heater blanket. This will keep the tank from losing heat as quickly.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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