Winter Tips for Homeowners and Drivers

Winter is upon us in Colorado, and North Metro Fire Rescue District wants to help residents stay safe amid freezing temperatures. Here are a few tips and resources to help you during the winter months.

Homeowners

Frozen pipes

When temperatures are expected to freeze, homeowners should take precaution to avoid having a water pipe burst in or around their home. Remember to:

  • Disconnect exterior hoses and shut off water to them
  • Protect your interior water pipes that run along exterior walls from freezing by letting them drip
  • Don’t set your heat too low
  • Open up cabinet doors to let heat in

Property owners/managers

During freezes, properties with fire sprinkler systems are also at risk of their pipes freezing or breaking, and usually this becomes evident once a thaw occurs after a freeze. To help avoid damage, owners/managers should make sure that:

  • Dry systems are filled with air
  • Anti-freeze systems are of the proper concentration
  • Any unit heaters in fire-sprinklered entry vestibules and mechanical closets are turned on and working properly
  • Exterior doors close properly to keep cold air out and warm air in

Drivers

Icy roads

The best way to stay safe in snowy or icy conditions is to remain off the roads. At least give the road crews enough time to plow and sand the roadways before venturing out. Drivers should also remember to:

  • Decrease your speed while driving and leave plenty of room to stop
  • Break gently to avoid skidding on ice or wet road conditions
  • If you do start skidding, take your foot off the accelerator and steer in the direction you want your front wheels to go
  • If you get stuck, turn your wheels side to side to push the snow out of the way
  • Remember four-wheel drive may help you get going, but it won’t help you stop

Additional resources:

Tips and road conditions for Colorado drivers (Colorado Dept. of Transportation)

FEMA guide on handling winter storms

Winter weather preparedness tips (Colorado Office of Emergency Preparedness)

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