Tips for Freezing Weather From Harris County MUD 341 Following the 4 P’s of Protection


  • To keep you and your family safe, it is imperative your home is warm.  Make sure your heat is set to an appropriate temperature to make your entire home comfortable.
  • If you use a space heater, make sure to keep it away from anything that may be flammable including curtains, bedding, etc. Also, do not keep it running overnight and do not keep it running in an unoccupied room.
  • If you use a fireplace, make sure you have a screen to catch any embers that might escape or a rolling log.
  • Never use your stove or oven to heat your home.


  • While protecting your family, it is imperative to protect your pets as well.
  • Pets, like humans, are vulnerable to cold temperatures. If not taken care of properly, they can succumb to frostbite and even hypothermia.
  • If you have a dog that typically lives outdoors, consider letting them inside when temperatures drop to freezing. While their fur does help to keep them warm, it provides little help in freezing temperatures.
  • If you absolutely cannot bring them inside, make sure they have a warm shelter, plenty of food and fresh water that does not freeze.


  • Make sure to cover all your exposed external pipes with a cover. You can also cover your pipes with towels, duct tape or another adhesive strip as long as they are wrapped tightly.
  • You should also open up the cabinets in your home to let warm air circulate throughout your home. Just make sure any harmful chemicals are out of reach for children and pets.

Sprinkler System Maintenance for Freezing Situations (pictures below)

  • Turn off the shut-off valve. Most residential devices have two shut-off valves. These are typically covered in blue on the valve handles and located before and after the back flow device.
  • Release the water pressure, with a screw driver release the water from the bleeder valves. The bleeder valves are usually located under the top of the backflow device. If the water does not stop flowing you may have not shut the valves off completely.
  • Leave the smaller bleeder valve open, this will let the any remaining water in the line expand without breaking the device.
  • Insulate your backflow device. Most hardware  / home services stores carry backflow insulating supplies.


  • When cold weather hits, it’s a good idea to bring in all of your outdoor plants.
  • If you can’t bring in the plant, cover it with a blanket to make sure they do not die.

Other Tips in the Event of a Power Outage in addition to Freezing Weather

  • If your home is not warm or you suspect the internal pipes could freeze, let water drip from several faucets or shut off water at the main shutoff valve and open all spigots to drain.  As temperatures rise, leave all faucets open and then open the main shutoff valve to restore water to the home.
  • Make sure if you use a generator, it is outdoors with good ventilation. Do not use a generator inside, including in your garage.