City fire chief reminds residents to be safe unthawing pipes
With the arrival of frigid temperatures and a number of structure fires across the State recently resulting from homeowners utilizing open flames to thaw frozen pipes, City of Batavia Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano reminds all City residents to be mindful and take the following precautions.
Prior to thawing a frozen pipe, open any faucet connected to the frozen pipe. Opening faucets with frozen pipes is important for two reasons. Frozen pipes will most likely burst from built-up pressure and not from the expanding ice. The opening of a faucet can relieve the pressure. Secondly, upon thawing frozen pipes, steam will be generated and can lead to increasing pressure and bursting if it is unable to escape out of the open faucet.
DO NOT USE OPEN FLAMES
Under no circumstances do not use open flames in any attempt to thaw pipes. The use of matches, a blowtorch or any other method with an open flame will compound the situation rather than solve it.
UTILIZE A GFCI OUTLET
Depending upon the thawing method used, please ensure that any device such as a hair dryer, heat gun or heat tape is connected to a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet. These outlets automatically monitor the current and are designed to protect people from electrical shock. The occurrence of electrocution is more significant during thawing situations due to the tools being electrical in nature and operating near potential water sources.
Chief Napolitano states that following these precautions and enlisting the services of a plumbing expert will safeguard your family and home from the devastation of a fire. He also offers all City residents to contact the City of Batavia Fire Department with any questions they may have regarding the safe thawing frozen pipes.
The phone number for City Fire Headquarters is 585-345-6375.