As we enter into the New Year, we are experiencing severe winter advisories in New York City. For property management companies it becomes a trying time as there are always concerns about fires, exploding frozen water pipes and failed heating. The National Weather Service is predicting temperatures in the teens and 20’s for at least another 10 days entering into 2018. With wind chills, the temperature will be below zero. This is significant cold weather either if you are indoors or outdoors. So what can you do to protect yourself and your property during this terrible stretch of bitter cold?
The Red Cross states that nearly half of U.S. households use alternative heating sources like space heaters, fireplaces or wood or coal stoves to stay warm. Of such alternative heating sources, 74% of fire related deaths are attributable to them. The Red Cross suggest the following:
- If someone intends to use a space heater, attempt to choose a model that shuts off automatically if the heater falls over.
- Space heaters should always be placed on a level, hard and nonflammable surface in the home.
- The heater should be kept away from flammable materials, pets and children.
The city’s Emergency Management Department also has some suggestions that should be used in surviving the frigid environment. Specifically they advised the following:
- Stay indoors as much as possible and only go out when during sunlight hours.
- When venturing outdoors, wear dry, warm clothing; cover exposed skin; don’t forget your hat, hood, scarf, and gloves; and try to keep your fingertips, nose, and earlobes covered.
- Limit alcohol consumption—drinking can increase chances of hypothermia and frostbite. This is important consideration if you are going out for New Year’s celebrations.
- When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
- Open up cabinets where pipes are exposed. This will enable warmer air to circulate around pipes to prevent freezing.
If you are having issues with heating or pipes bursting you should call your landlord immediately. If you are not getting a timely response and need immediate help you can call 311 who can assist and report to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
Blue Harbour Property Management is a full service property management company representing landlords with residential and commercial properties. If you are in need of expert property management service we can be of service. We are a NYC property management company with buildings in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx.