By ROBERT MERRILL
Cold weather, with daytime highs just above zero and overnight lows in the minus 5-15-degree range, has prompted local officials to give several tips to avoid fires and keep heating costs as low as possible.
And Preston Mayor F. Lee Hendrickson is advising city residents to keep a small stream of water (about the size of a pencil) running in at least one faucet to keep water lines from freezing during the cold snap.
Scott Martin, Franklin County Fire Marshal, said if water pipes do freeze do not try to thaw them with a blowtorch or other open flame. He said the pipe could conduct heat and a fire could be started. “Try a hand-held dryer, hot water or a UL-labeled device for thawing.”
He also said:
• never use an oven or a range to heat a home. This is a safety hazard and could cause a build-up of toxic fumes.
• be certain all windows that are used as emergency exits can still be opened in the winter.
• if there is a fire hydrant near your house, help keep it clear of snow and debris so the dire department can access it in case of a fire. Also keep natural gas meters clear of snow.
This story is sponsored by Franklin County Medical Center Family Physicians.
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