Frozen Pipes Causing Significant Damage to Westport Homes

The Westport Fire Department warn residents of the risk of frozen pipes.

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo

The Westport Fire Department is reminding residents that extremely cold weather brings the risk of frozen and broken pipes.

The department is already aware of significant damage to several homes and buildings over the weekend, and warn that the next few days bring a renewed risk of water damage due to frozen and burst pipes. 

Steps to consider in extremely cold temperatures, according to the department: 

  • Pipes that have frozen in the past or near exterior walls are obvious candidates for special attention.  Keep checking the area and look for signs of a frozen pipe or a slow leak, then take action.
  • 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.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • During severe cold weather, resist the urge to lower thermostats to save money during the evening, overnight and on the weekends when the building is unoccupied.
  • Get a water alarm, preferably wired into your security system
  • See Red Cross’ advice at http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/winter-storm/preventing-thawing-frozen-pipes or DEMHS http://www.ct.gov/demhs/cwp/view.asp?a=1933&q=537556
  • If you discover a leak or flood:

    • Locate the main water shut off valve in your home and mark it for quick identification.  Learn how to turn it off, and educate others in your household.  If a water pipe bursts, shutting the main valve quickly will minimize flooding and property damage.
    • Call for help to stop the leak, this might be your facilities staff or the fire department.
    • Be careful.  Be sure it is safe to enter the area if there is standing water on the floor, electrical hazards are a real risk.
    • DO NOT ever use an open flame to thaw pipes.
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