As temperatures drop, protect your pipes

Cold temperatures mean cold pipes and that could lead to thousands of dollars in repairs if you aren't careful.

The water inside the pipes can freeze. That freezing water expands. And, with nowhere to go, it will easily burst your pipe.

Here are some simple steps you can take to protect your pipes, from the American Red Cross:

- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
- When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night.

If you open a faucet and no water comes out, don't take any chances, contact a plumber immediately.

It's also a good idea to know where your main water shut-off valve is, so you can shut off the water in an emergency.