Treat frozen pipes and ice dams with fire safety in mind

Blog Post created by susanmckelvey Employee on Feb 23, 2015

Frigid temperatures across much of the U.S. are causing all sorts of grief for home and business owners, with frozen pipes and ice dams topping the list. Unfortunately, some people have used blow torches and other open flame devices to treat them.

Frozen pipes

Clearly, no one should ever use any type of open flame to thaw pipes or melt ice dams – it presents serious risks to people and property. As obvious as this may seem, it’s been happening.

Recent news stories in The Boston Globe and The Buffalo News have highlighted incidents in which property was significantly damaged and/or firefighters were injured as a result of open flames being used to mitigate these issues.

“The potential for damage is enormous,” Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell W. Whitfield Jr. said of improperly attempting to thaw frozen pipes. “The potential for loss of life is huge.”

Ice dam

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to safely prevent and treat frozen pipes and ice dams.

The American Red Cross website provides a wealth of tips and recommendations for preventing and treating frozen pipes; This Old House magazine offers recommendations for preventing ice dams, along with some quick fixes.