Templeton Utilities Department offers freeze alert tips

NORTH COUNTY — The Templeton Fire Department and Templeton Utilities Department have issued some holiday safety tips to get you through this holiday season.

Alarms

This Christmas, give your family and friends a gift that saves lives … a smoke alarm. Most fatal fires take place at night, while you and your family are asleep. If you have one or more working smoke alarms in your home you double your chances of surviving a fire. Smoke alarms are inexpensive and easy to install.

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Candle Care

Candles are a traditional and beautiful part of the holiday season. They can also be a source of fire in your home, so be cautious with them. Place candles in non-tip candle holders and ensure they are well away from the Christmas tree and other holiday decorations. Never leave lit candles unattended and ensure that they are out of reach of children. Enjoy the festive season by putting safety first.

Christmas Tree Safety

Most Christmas fires can be prevented. Before buying your Christmas tree, test it for freshness by tapping the base of the tree on the ground. If needles fall or can be pulled off easily the tree is too dry. At home, find a cool spot for your tree, away from heater vents and the fireplace. Keep your tree as fresh as possible by watering it often. Use no heat producing lights on your tree.

Kitchen Fire Safety

Practice fire safety in the kitchen this holiday season. Never leave cooking food unattended and if you are faced with a grease fire, remember — put a lid on it and turn the heat source off. Always turn pot handles to the back of the stove so pots won’t be pulled or knocked off by children. Enjoy the holidays and stay fire safe.

Freeze Alert Tips from Templeton Utilities Department

Take precautions to prevent water pipes from freezing when the temperature drops below freezing. Exposed pipe can freeze and burst when the air temperature reaches below freezing (32 degrees F). Remember the saying – better safe than sorry. Experts recommend keeping the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. If you plan to be away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F. Do not turn your heater off. Protect your pipes. Let the cold-water drip from a faucet to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children and/or pets. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.

How to Thaw Frozen Pipes — If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, you may have a frozen pipe. If you suspect the pipes are frozen, be careful when thawing them out because if the pipe has burst, the water will come flowing out and flood your home. Turn off the water at the main shut-off valve. This is usually at the water meter or where the main lines enter the house. You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe with warm air from a hair dryer. Start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section. As you heat the frozen pipe and the ice plug begins to melt, you want the water to be able to flow through. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe. If your pipes freeze call a plumber immediately.