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With Lingering Subzero Temps, How To Protect Your Home From Pipe Bursts

ROSEVILLE, Minn. (WCCO) - It's a problem we see every year: pipes freezing in the cold then bursting once they thaw. It can put homeowners and property owners out thousands of dollars in damage.

The subzero temperatures are keeping the Roseville Fire Department busy.

"Now that the temperatures are dropping, we're seeing exponentially more calls," firefighter and paramedic Mike Wallace said.

The department is coming off a record-breaking year, with a 13% increase in calls from 2020. On New Year's Day, they responded to a pipe burst at Rosedale Center.

"Right in the front entryway. And due to that weather it showed up as steam because the pipe bursts, then it gets heated and freezing at the same time," Wallace said.

Pipes, Plumbing
(credit: CBS)

To prevent a similar disaster in your home or business, they recommend insulating pipes. People can also open cabinet doors to allow the heat from the room to warm the pipes. You can also let water drip from the faucets, and keep the thermostat set to same temperature during the day and night. Wallace says most pipe bursts happen as the ice thaws.

"Don't overuse space heaters and don't take torches to your pipes to warm them up, that's just asking for trouble," Wallace said.

Within the last week, volunteers with the American Red Cross have responded to 19 house fires in the region.

Click here for more tips on protecting your home from the cold.

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