Frozen Water Causes Problem For Firefighters And Homeowners - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Frozen Water Causes Problem For Firefighters And Homeowners

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MISSOULA -

Between bursting pipes, and frozen fire fighter equipment, this weekend was filled with chaos related to the cold.

Firefighters said it's all about using common sense when it comes to keeping your home safe this season. People who live in the court on S. Fifth Street are recovering after a weekend of bad luck.

"We froze up Friday for three or four hours," said Fifth St. resident, Stuart Pickens. 

Pickens' home was one of three in his neighborhood with frozen pipes this weekend, but unlike many people around town, according to local plumbing services, he was able to keep them from bursting.

"We got it thawed out. I didn't use a flame, I used lights," Pickens said.

This wasn't the only problem caused by frozen water to hit Pickens block. A fire damaged a trailer on Saturday. The blaze had firefighters running into some roadblocks.

"The main hose on the fire hydrant they had problems with, and once they got to the front of the home it was freezing up there too," Pickens said.

Missoula Fire Captain Terran Lohman said it's common for freezing temps to cause problems for them when battling fires this time of year.

"Some of the challenges we face are even just getting to the scene. I mean roads can be slick," Lohman said.

Firefighters said this hose could freeze within just minutes of being outside, leaving you with an inch and a half round hose full of ice.

"Sometimes you might see a spike in fires, people are heating up frozen pipes. They're using candles this time of year, furnaces, fireplaces," Lohman said.

He advises people to use common sense when heating their homes.

"Use caution, don't use open flames inside your house when pipes are frozen just use commons sense," Lohman said.

Experts say if you have frozen pipes, locate and shut off your water valve, do not leave your house without shutting off your water, and also open your kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow heat to your pipes. Safely use space heaters to help thaw your frozen pipes. Keep your garage heated if you have bathrooms adjacent or above your garage.

For below freezing temps:

  • Vents in crawl space should be closed
  • Windows should be tightly latched
  • Garage doors should be closed immediately when you leave
  • Remove all hoses from hose bibs
  • Leave your temperature settings up at 68 degrees when temperatures are below zero
  • Use your wood stove sparingly if you have central hydronic heating system

 

 

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