DeKalb County releases cold weather safety checklist

With the hard freeze overnight on into Wednesday, DeKalb County released a safety checklist for cold weather.

That checklist reads:

  • Exercise safety and use proper ventilation when using alternative heat sources, such as fireplaces and electric heaters. Do not use an oven to heat your house. Do not bring grills, generators, kerosene heaters and other outside heating devices inside to heat a home, as they emit poisonous carbon monoxide.
  • If there is no heat, close off unneeded rooms, stuff towels in cracks under doors and cover windows at night.
  • Keep pets inside and ensure their food and water is not frozen.
  • Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses. Detaching the hose allows water to drain from the pipe. Otherwise, a hard freeze can burst either the faucet or the pipe.
  • Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas. If there are pipelines in an unheated garage or cold crawl space under the house, wrap the water pipes before temperatures plummet. Find the house master water shutoff valve. It may be near the water heater or the washing machine. More likely, it’s where the water line comes into your house from the street. If a pipe bursts anywhere in the house, this valve turns it off.
  • Leave a pencil-lead-thin stream of water flowing from any faucet during the worst of a cold spell. Running water has a lesser chance of freezing.
  • If a pipe freezes, do not try to thaw it using a torch with an open flame. This is a fire hazard, and it could also melt pipe solder or burst the pipe. The safest tool is a hair dryer with a low heat setting. Wave the warm air back and forth along the pipe, not on one spot.