FREEZE INFORMATION: PIPES | PETS | HOME HEATERS | SMOKE ALARMS
Post Date:January 16, 2018 8:07 a.m.
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The National Weather Service in New Orleans has issued the following for our area:
- Winter Weather Advisory (noon Jan. 16 - Midnight Jan. 17)
- Hard Freeze Warning (6 p.m. - 10 p.m. Jan. 16)
- Wind Chill Advisory (9 p.m. Jan. 16 - 11 a.m. Jan. 17)
Please use the tips below to take actions to protect people, plants, pipes, and pets:
- All exposed pipes should be insulated and shielded from the wind. Exposed piping underneath a house or within walls should be protected by draining. Houses on slabs do not need protection if the piping is in the slab. The supply line must be protected by wrapping with insulation, newspaper or old clothing. Plyboard, felt roofing, plastic or cardboard can be used for shielding.
- To drain piping, close the valve on the water supply line and open all faucets. Draining will only work if pipes slope evenly.
- When the water supply is to be shut off, the hot water heater must be turned off. The valve on gas heaters should be set to the “pilot” position. Electric heaters should be turned off at the switch box.
- In order to keep the meter from freezing, the meter box cover must be kept in place with the lid closed.
- Customers who feel the need to leave water running during freezing weather as a means of preventing frozen or burst piping should expect an increase in your bill as a result of this action. The St. Charles Parish Waterworks Department recommends that water pipes be insulated and shielded from the wind as the primary means of protection and should use flushing as a last resort.
- Keep your pets inside with you and your family. Under no circumstances should pet cats be left outdoors, even if they roam outside during other seasons. Dogs are happiest when taken out frequently for walks and exercise, but kept inside the rest of the time. Don't leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops.
- If your dog is outdoors much of the day for any reason, they must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow them to move comfortably, but small enough to hold in body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches from the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.
- Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet's water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls; when the temperature is low, your pet's tongue can stick and freeze to metal.
- More detailed information on protecting pets can be found here
- Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Talk to your children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
- Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- The most effective way to protect yourself and your home from fire is to identify and remove fire hazards. About 65 percent of house fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms. During a home fire, working smoke alarms can save lives.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
- Teach your children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
- Once a month check whether each alarm in the home is working properly by pushing the test button.
- Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. Immediately install a new battery if an alarm chirps, warning the battery is low.
- Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. Never disable smoke or carbon monoxide alarms.
- Carbon monoxide alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms. Know the difference between the sound of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
- For more information on home fire safety, download the American Red Cross First Aid App, which provides tips on how to prevent home fires and on severe winter weather safety. This free app is available on the Apple iTunes or Google Play stores. Find all of the Red Cross apps at redcross.org/mobileapps.