Much colder weather and a thin coating of ice blasted into southern Denton County early Thursday, and temps will struggle to get above the freezing mark until as least Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.
Here are some tips to help prevent frozen water pipes and keep safe during this bout of bitter cold weather:
Be sure to disconnect all outside water hoses. This will prevent an overnight freeze from bursting either the faucet or the pipe it is connected to.
Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas with pipe wrapping materials that are available at hardware stores.
Locate your shut-off valve. Some homes have accessible valves, while others only have shut-off valves in the meter boxes. Keep your town’s Utility Service number handy, so that you may contact them in the event of an emergency.
Any plumbing inside your home that is facing an outside wall should be considered during winter months. To help prevent pipes from freezing, open the cabinets to expose the pipes to the warm inside.
- If the pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold (or where the cold was most likely to penetrate).
- Conserve fuel, if necessary, by keeping your residence cooler than normal. Temporarily close off heat to some rooms.
- Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes. Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet from flammable objects.
- Watch for signs of frostbite. These include loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.
- Watch for signs of hypothermia. These include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion.
- If symptoms of hypothermia are detected: get the victim to a warm location, remove wet clothing, put the person in dry clothing and wrap their entire body in a blanket, warm the center of the body first, give warm, non-alcoholic or non-caffeinated beverages if the victim is conscious, and get medical help as soon as possible.
Source: City of Highland Village and Town of Flower Mound