City officials issue safety tips for extreme cold, fire protection, and home heating
TROY, NY (January 11, 2022) – Mayor Patrick Madden is reminding Troy residents and families to prepare for sub-freezing temperatures expected this week and upcoming weekend. Temperatures are expected to reach single digits, including overnight, across the Capital Region through Sunday.
Mayor Madden said, “With below freezing temperatures forecast for the next several days, Troy residents should take precautions to protect their homes and families against common winter issues. I urge all Trojans to make smart choices to reduce the risk of fire, property damage, and avoid cold weather-related issues this winter.”
During periods of extreme cold temperatures, Troy residents & business owners are reminded to take the following preventative measures to prevent interior water pipes from freezing:
- Keep your thermostat set to the same temperature for both day and night, even when you are not home;
- Close all exterior doors, including garage doors and other exterior entryways;
- Open hot & cold faucets to a slow drip during the coldest time of the day or night;
- Keep kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open to allow heat to reach un-insulated pipe near exterior walls. Don’t forget to remove any stored household cleaners and chemicals out of the reach of children; and
- Know the location of your internal shut off valves in case of a leak or frozen pipe.
If a pipe is found to have frozen, keep the faucet(s) open and contact a licensed plumber immediately. If a household water pipe bursts, turn off the water at the internal shut-off valve immediately.
Residents can also prepare all outdoor faucets for the winter season. Start by locating all exterior faucets on their home and drain residual water and remove attached hoses. Locate and turn off each individual shutoff valve inside your home leading to each exterior faucet. After turning off the shutoff valve, drain the exterior faucet.
“Extreme cold can cause significant problems for interior and exterior household water pipes, causing them to break inside basements or exterior walls and disrupt access to water service,” said Superintendent of Public Utilities Chris Wheland. “Residents and business owners should take proactive steps to avoid the inconvenience of losing running water or the financial burden and potential property damage caused by broken water pipes inside their home or property.”
Residents should exercise caution and care for their pets this winter. Plan to keep your animals indoors during periods of cold weather. Remember: if you’re cold, so are your pets! The American Veterinary Medical Association has published a list of cold weather animal safety tips to help pet owners protect their companion animals during the winter season.
According to the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (NYSDHSES), heating equipment is among the leading causes of home fires nationally and in New York State. NYSDHSES has issued some simple steps to significantly reduce the possibility of experiencing a heating related fire in your home or business:
- Buy and carefully maintain a quality smoke and carbon monoxide detector.
- Inspect your home to eliminate or control fire hazards.
- Install at least 5-pound A-B-C type fire extinguishers in the home and teach family members how to use them.
- Establish a well-planned escape route with the entire family.
- Hold practice fire drills until all family members are thoroughly familiar with plan.
- If you have an older home, have the wiring checked by a qualified electrician to make sure it meets current building codes.
- If you have a chimney and fireplace in your home, have it cleaned and inspected yearly for creosote build-up, cracks, crumbling bricks or mortar and any obstructions.
- Keep storage areas clean and tidy.
- Keep curtains, towels and potholders away from hot surfaces.
- Store solvents and flammable cleaners away from heat sources. NEVER keep gasoline in the house.
- Inspect extension cords for frayed or exposed wires or loose plugs.
- Space heaters should be no less than three feet away from walls, furniture and combustible items.
- Never use an extension cord with a space heater, or place them on a bed.
Fire Chief Eric McMahon said, “The tragic loss of life in New York City earlier this week is a reminder about the dangers of improper space heater use. The importance of a functioning, properly installed smoke detector cannot be overstated. Early detection is the key to protect your family during a home fire. We urge Troy residents to be smart and be prepared this winter and to follow safety guidelines to prevent avoidable fire incidents in their home.”
Review additional fire safety and winter weather tips from NYSDHSES, including on home heating appliances like space heaters & fireplaces, carbon monoxide detectors, and chimneys.
Colder weather can result in increased heating costs for the fall and winter months. Residents can take small steps to help save energy, save money, and stay comfortable this winter using the following tips from the U.S. Department of Energy:
- Take advantage of heat from the sun – during the day, open curtains on south-facing windows to allow sunlight to heat your home. Close them at night to reduce chill from cold windows.
- Cover drafty windows – use heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames. Install tight-fitting insulated drapes or shades to help reduce cold air infiltrating your home.
- Adjust the temperature – when at home and awake, set your thermostat as low as comfortable.
- Find and seal leaks –seal air leaks around utility cut-throughs for water pipes, gaps around chimneys and recessed lights, and unfinished spaces in cupboards and closets. Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows
- Heating system maintenance –schedule a service for your heating system. Homes with furnaces and heat pumps should replace the filter once a month (or as needed). Homes with wood or pellet-burning heaters should clean the flue vent regularly; clean the inside periodically to ensure your home is heated efficiently.
- Lower holiday lighting costs – when decorating your home for the holidays, use light-emitting diode (LED) holiday lights to reduce energy costs
- Lower water heating costs – cover your water heater with an approved water heater blanket. This will keep the tank from losing heat as quickly.
Collar City residents and families are reminded to review the city’s Snow Emergency policies and procedures. The plan includes street-level parking restrictions and expanded off-street parking options, and is designed to assist city crews in clearing snow and ice from roads across Troy during and after heavy snowfall events.
Under a snow emergency, normal parking rules and regulations are temporarily suspended on designated snow emergency streets only. To review the city’s Snow Emergency plan, and to view a full list of designated streets, visit www.troyny.gov/snow-emergency
John Salka, Communications Director
[email protected] / (518) 279-7131