Firefighters warn about frozen pipes


WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s been a busy winter for fire departments across Connecticut due to a combination of cold weather and frozen pipes. One of those places is West Haven, where firefighters say frozen pipes have at times lead to bursting.

Officials with the West Haven Fire Department say so far this season the number of calls they have received has been expected, but they think they could see an uptick with colder weather in the forecast later in the week. The good news, there are things people can do to mitigate the threat of frozen pipes.

Scott Schwartz is the Deputy Chief of the West Haven Fire Department. He recommends people keep their heat on, keep their garage door and windows closed, open up the cabinet doors beneath your sink, put “heat tape” on the pipes, and never try and thaw out your pipes.

“We prefer that you do not an try and thaw those pipes out on your own,” said Schwartz. “A lot of people try to use torches. We have had fires from people trying to heat up the pipes and it heats up the combustible material behind it and catches the house on fire.”

Another idea firefighters have is to insulate areas where you think there may be drafting.

Firefighters say the most common time for when pipes burst is not actually during periods of cold weather but actually when temperatures begin to go back up.

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