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Fairfield Basement Fire Ignited By Homeowner Thawing Frozen Pipes

Fires can be ignited when using unsafe methods to thaw frozen pipes.
Fires can be ignited when using unsafe methods to thaw frozen pipes. Photo Credit: File

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- The Fairfield Fire Department is giving information on how to safely thaw frozen pipes after a basement fire on Friday.

Firefighters found the fire in the basement of 333 Cornell Road and were able to get the fire under control in 45 minutes.

“The aggressive attack by our fire department in the sub- freezing temperature and the homeowner’s decision to immediately call 911 limited the spread of fire and damage to the structure,” said Assistant Chief Sherwood.

“With this extremely cold weather, many residents are concerned about frozen pipes. The American Red Cross has information posted on their web site, www.redcross.org , which offers guidance on how to prevent frozen pipes and what you can do if your pipes freeze. Certainly contacting a licensed plumber is strong consideration as they should know the safest method to defrost frozen pipes."

Here are some tips to thaw pipes:

  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water.
  • Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
  • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.

For more tips on preventing frozen pipes and future, protection, visit www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/winter-storm/preventing-thawing-frozen-pipes.

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