How to prevent frozen pipes in this deep freeze, and how to handle mess if it happens anyway

With it being bitter cold in the Miami Valley, making sure the pipes in your home are safe becomes a top priority.

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The Red Cross lists the following ways to prevent pipes from freezing:

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Seal leaks: Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes. Use caulk or insulation seal the leaks, keeping the cold air out and the warm air in.

Wrap it Up: If you suspect your pipes are freezing, wrap towels that have been soaked in hot water around cold pipe sections. Keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes, and turn on faucets just enough to let them drip slowly. Keep the water moving to prevent freezing.

Shut it Off: Know where the water shut-off valve is located. If you turn your faucet on and no water comes out, leave them on and immediately call a plumber. If you've already discovered that your pipes have burst, keep the faucets on, but turn off the water at the main shut-off valve and call a plumber.

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Forget the Thaw: Never try to thaw a pipe with a blowtorch or any other open flame. Do not use electrical appliances in areas of standing water.

Keep Heat On: If you’re going away for a weekend trip make sure you leave your heat on. Don’t set it any lower than 55 degrees or your pipes may be in danger of freezing or bursting.