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City officials and other experts offered advice for keeping you pipes, pets and plants safe while temps remain below freezing.

*Insulate pipes in unheated areas such as a crawl space, attic, garage or basement.

* If below freezing weather is anticipated, open cupboard doors in kitchen and bathrooms -- this allows pipes to get more heat from inside your home.

* If you're planning on leaving for several days during freezing weather, put your furnace on a low setting - this may not completely prevent freezing pipes, but it can help.

* Let a slight stream of water run when temperature drops below freezing - faucets farthest from the street should be the ones left running -- use cold water to avoid gas or electric heating charges.

Outdoor plumbing

* Caulk around pipes where they enter the house.

* Close all foundation vents.

* Cut wood or Styrofoam blocks to fill vent openings, then slide them into the vents

* Open the vents again in the spring to prevent dry rot.

* Protect outside pipes and faucets. If you have a separate shut off valve for an outside faucet, consider shutting it off and draining it for the winter. * If you don't have a separate valve to turn off faucets, you can wrap outside faucets or hose bibs with insulation.

* Use newspaper or rags covered with plastic, fiberglass or molded foam-insulating covers (available at hardware stores) to wrap faucet.

* Disconnect all garden hoses and drain in-ground irrigation systems according to manufacturer's instructions.

For pets, the cold can be very dangerous.

Dove Lewis veterinarian, Doctor Maree Doolan says in this raw weather, your pet can easily develop hypothermia or frostbite. She says it's a good idea to wipe their feet off when they come inside to remove ice and ice melting agents.

Also, make sure their water bowls dont' ice over. always make sure they have water, fresh water for them and make sure they have a nice warm place to sleep.

Cover your outdoor plants and gardens with burlap or cloth -- since cold penetrates plastic.

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