Simple Steps Can Help You Heat Your Home Safely and Prevent Frozen Pipes
INDIANAPOLIS – With the area expecting frigid temperatures this week, Citizens Energy Group urges you to take the proper precautions below. If you’re having trouble paying your bill, you can apply for the Energy Assistance Program (EAP) by visiting www.eap.ihcda.in.gov or calling 2-1-1. You also can reach out to Citizens by visiting www.CitizensEnergyGroup.com/Help or calling (317) 924-3311 to learn about other forms of assistance.
Safely Heat Your Home
- Keep space heaters away from flammable items such as furniture and draperies. Avoid using fuel-burning space heaters indoors as they can create deadly carbon monoxide.
- Have a working smoke alarm on each level of your home and at least one carbon monoxide alarm in your home. Batteries should be checked monthly.
- Never heat your home using a natural gas oven.
Prevent Frozen Pipes
- Leave a thin stream of water running when the temperature is below freezing.
- Insulate pipes that may be exposed to cold air.
- Open cabinet doors below sinks to let warm air circulate around pipes.
- Make sure the lid on your water meter pit is tightly secured.
- If your water meter is in the basement, ensure the area is heated and check for broken windows.
- If you have piping in the garage, ensure the garage doors stay closed.
- Locate your water shut-off valve so you know how to turn water off quickly in case a pipe bursts. Shut-off valves can be located in various places in your home, including the garage, basement, utility closet or the main entry for the water line into the house.
What to Do if You Identify a Frozen Pipe
- Turn off the water at the shut-off valve.
- Open the faucet attached to the frozen pipe to allow water to flow through and relieve pressure buildup. Running water through the pipe also will help melt any remaining ice.
- Apply gradual heat to the section of frozen pipe. This can be done by wrapping the pipes in bath towels or using a space heater to heat up the area where the pipes are located. Keep applying heat until the water pressure is restored and the water flows through freely. Never apply direct heat to the affected area.
- If a pipe is bulging or you can’t find the location of the blockage, call a licensed plumber.