Protecting your home in the cold

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

When the temperatures drop is when you can run into problems.

“Right now is prevention time,” explains Jack Hope, with Hope Plumbing.

Plumbers have been fielding calls from homeowners asking them what to do to protect their pipes.

“If your sink has this lovely view and looks outside that’s great but it probably means it’s up against a cold wall. Open up those cabinet doors and leave the water running just a trickle it doesn’t take much,” explains Hope.

If your sink has two knobs, one stream of trickling water isn’t enough.

“People always miss this you have to run hot and cold water. So running just the cold will prevent the cold line from freezing but not the hot line,” explains Hope.

Warmer temperatures are predicted for later this week.  A warm-up is when those frozen pipes will thaw out and exploding, leaving behind a very expensive mess.

“Look, spend a couple of dollars to run water all night tonight it’s much better than a $10-15,000 insurance claim,” says Hope.

Fire officials are warning homeowners to be careful if they are using a space heater.

Just last week, a family of seven made it out of their east side home after it caught on fire.  Family members told firefighters that a space heater was too close to a chair.

“They are very convenient if you are heating up one room, don’t leave it unattended. They (space heaters) can be deadly if you leave them unattended and near combustibles,” explains Rita Reith, with the Indianapolis Fire Department.

In the past week firefighters have been called out to at least four vacant home fires.  Fire officials are asking the public to be on the lookout for trespassers getting into abandoned homes and starting warming fires.

“We understand the need for warmth. We understand they are seeking shelter but at the same time we can’t put neighbors’ lives at risk, firefighters lives at risk and their lives at risk for starting a fire in a structure,” explains Reith.