The American Red Cross offers tips to prevent and thaw frozen pipes during winter's blast. Additionally, the Red Cross would like to remind the public about the importance of following safety guidelines when using portable space heaters, fireplaces and generators.
••• Preventative Action
Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
Let cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and night.
••• To Thaw Frozen Pipes
Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, hair dryer, portable space heater (kept way from flammable materials) or wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. DO NOT use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove or other open flame device.
Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area or if you are unsure of what to do, call a licensed plumber.
Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
••• Future Protection
Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increases protection from freezing.
Pipes can be relocated by a professional if the home is remodeled.
Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
Download the American Red Cross First Aid App for quick, expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. This free app is available on the Apple iTunes or Google Play stores. See all Red Cross apps at redcross.org/mobileapps.
••• Space Heaters, Fireplaces and Generators
Heating systems are running at full force and many people are resorting to other sources to keep their homes warm. To avoid fire danger, you should remember the following:
Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away – things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs. Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
Page 2 of 2 - If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
Use generators correctly – never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.
Don't hook a generator up to the home's wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.
To reach the Wayne Pike Chapter of the American Red Cross, call 570-253-2310. The office is located at the Hawley Silk Mill, 8 Silk Mill Dr. Suite 204 Hawley.