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How to Keep Your Home Safe in Sub-zero Weather

It’s that time again this year where the temperatures dramatically drop down, the wind chill picks up, and snow may cover the earth.

Keep reading for tips about what how to keep your home safe as we head further into the snowy season. Feel free to share this web link with family, friends, and even any tenants to help protect your most valuable investment–your home.

Brick home on a snowy, cold winter day

How to Keep Your Home Safe if Extremely Cold Temperatures are Predicted

Prevent Freezing Pipes

• Ensure you and your family know how to shut off the water if pipes burst. The valve is often in the basement or crawl space in most single-family homes on a wall facing the street.
• Keep your home heated to a minimum of 65 degrees.
• Ensure all indoor faucets on exterior walls are set to have a very small trickle of combined hot and cold water running.
• Open vanity or cabinet doors on exterior walls so warm air can reach the pipes under sinks.
• Insulate vulnerable pipes. Water pipes vulnerable to the cold, such as those along exterior walls and in unheated basements, should be insulated.
• If you have a garden hose, be sure it is disconnected from outdoor spigots.
• Make sure windows are closed and sealed correctly.
• Close garage doors and windows.
• Have a warm place for your pets.

And if You are Selling Your Home

• Make sure that even if you own a vacant property, that your thermostat is at least 60 degrees to ensure that the pipes won’t freeze.

Be Safe While Outdoors

• Bundle up with many layers that cover your skin.
• Stay off icy areas as much as possible and exercise extreme caution.
• If you have a pet, keep an eye on them, as it can take less than 3 minutes for many breeds to experience cold shock at these lower temperatures, especially if they are young or small.
• Get ahead of the snow and purchase ice salt at your local department store to lay out on your porch and driveway.
•  Make sure your windshield wipers on your cars are pulled up so they do not freeze and stick to your windshield.


• NEVER try to thaw a pipe with an open flame or torch – Use a hair dryer instead.
• NEVER run generators indoors.
• NEVER use a gas oven to heat your home.
• NEVER use gasoline to start your fireplace.
• NEVER burn charcoal indoors.

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