Allen residents should prepare for plummeting temperatures and high winds as a cold front moves into our area. Here are 8 tips from the City of Allen to protect your pipes, pets and property.
- Secure trash bins, recycling bins and yard decorations. High winds could damage loose items, so bring inflatable Christmas decorations and other lawn ornaments inside. Write your address on your trash and recycling bins so you can identify them if they blow away. Ensure trash is bagged and lids are fully closed to prevent debris from blowing through your neighborhood.
- Report blocked streets and alleys. If streets or alleys are blocked by a fallen tree or large limb, contact the City of Allen at 214.509.3150 during business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. M-F) or 214.509.4530 after-hours and on weekends. Property owners are responsible for fallen trees or limbs on private property. If you see fallen power lines, do not approach them! Call 9-1-1 to report this dangerous situation.
- Don't call 9-1-1 if your power goes out. Contact your power company to report the outage using the information found on your monthly statement. If you see fallen power lines on a road, alley or sidewalk, call 9-1-1 before contacting the power company.
- Don’t leave idling cars unattended. Though it may be tempting to let your car warm up before you start driving, don’t walk away with the keys in the ignition. Idling cars are an easy target for thieves.
- Use caution with generators and fireplaces. Generators produce carbon monoxide, an odorless and colorless gas that can cause fainting and even death. Never use a generator inside your home, basement, garage or other enclosed space. Keep generators at least 20 feet away from any window, door or vent. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, install a CO detector in your home and replace the battery regularly. If you use a fireplace, inspect and clean the chimney annually and keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Don’t ever leave a fire unattended.
- Take care of your pets. Don’t leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops. If they must be outside for extended periods of time, ensure they have a warm, dry shelter protected from the elements. Keep food and water dishes in a warm spot so they won’t freeze. Cats and small wildlife may seek shelter near the warm engines of parked cars, so bang on the hood to scare them away before you start the car.
- Report leaking or burst pipes. Rapid changes in temperature can put a strain on pipes. Report any outdoor leaks or breaks to Allen’s 24-hour water/sewer emergency hotline at 214.509.4530.
- Prevent pipes from bursting at home. When temperatures drop below freezing, open cabinet doors near pipes to keep warm air circulating and keep faucets on a slight trickle. Know where your water shutoff valve is located in case a leak does occur.