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Preparing Your Home for Cold Weather

Posted at: 01/18/2013 8:23 PM
Updated at: 01/18/2013 8:29 PM
By: Jenna Lohse

(ABC 6 News) -- It's a cold snap Minnesotans are used to but not always prepared for. Extreme cold weather is heading our way and Craig Curley, general manager of superior mechanics, wants to make sure we are ready for it.

"Sealed from the outside, insulated on the inside, otherwise if you get wind from that direction it will blow cold air in and freeze your pipes up," said Curley.

Today is the day to double check everything is working properly, before it's too late.

"If you had a pipe that froze in one of your exterior walls or any cavity space it would flood your home," said Curley.

It's important to act quickly.

"Shut their water off immediately if they see it and then call a qualified plumbing contractor," said Curley.

Fire officials urge people to not use home remedies like a space heater to thaw frozen pipes.

"Obviously if we have some kind of electrical heater and we are dealing with a water project that's always a potential hazard," said Jason Whitney, Rochester's Assistant Fire Marshal.

Whitney says newer space heaters are normally safe.

"What is probably more of a concern is when we are using a space heater, that it is used appropriately," said Whitney.

Using them to heat a room for a short period of time is generally pretty safe but costs more money.

"People are amazed at how much their bill are increasing," said Deb Kolling of Freeborn Mower Cooperative Services. But fire officials say they're typically not a good idea to keep your pipes from freezing.

Older space heaters are the most dangerous fire hazard, if you are in the market to buy one, the newer heaters have automatic shutoffs.