Low Temps / Frozen Pipe Alert

January 5, 2018

The National Weather Service issued a Wind Chill Advisory for our region. The advisory is in effect from 7:00 pm this evening to 10:00 am Sunday. Cold wind chills will cause frostbite to exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes. Expect wind chills to range from 10 degrees below zero to 25 degrees below zero.

In addition to frostbite, the cold will cause a significant risk of frozen pipes.

If you lose power and/or heat during this period, immediately call your heating or electrical service provider. Be prepared to take action on your own if necessary. Consider the following:

  • Although we usually recommend setting the thermostat to 68° F during cold spells, in light of the record-breaking severity of this cold, we recommend setting the thermostat at 70° – 72° F and leaving it at that temperature all weekend. This may temporarily increase your heating costs, but it’s a small price to pay to avoid more costly damage and inconvenience caused by frozen pipes.
  • Maintenance personnel should check facilities, ESPECIALLY UNOCCUPIED BUILDINGS, in the morning and evening each day.
  • If you lose heat and are unable to restore heat before the low temperatures begin, shut off the water supply and drain pipes. This will prevent water from freezing and bursting the pipes. If you are unable to drain the pipes, open the taps a little to allow water to trickle out. If you chose this option, please monitor the taps on a regular basis.

Please be vigilant! Previous cold snaps resulted in over $8 million in property damage from frozen pipes alone. Frozen pipes can be prevented!

Power Outages

The National Weather Service warns that places that receive more 5 five inches of snow will be prone to isolated outages from downed tree limbs or wires. Be prepared. Have an emergency kit, including flashlights, extra batteries, and a battery-operated radio, nearby. For more information, go to: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/power-outage-safety-tips

Heating Safety

When heating your facility, rectory or home, do it safely. For heating safety tips, go to: https://www.mass.gov/winter-home-heating-safety

Prevent Frostbite

Stay inside if at all possible. When outside, wear layers of clothing, and always wear a hat. Go inside to warm up if your fingers, toes, ears, or nose feel tingly or numb – this is a sign of frostbite. For more info, go to: http://www.rcabrisk.org/cold-weather-safety


If you experience property damage, immediately call the Office of Risk Management at 617-746-5743. For a list of service vendors, go to: http://rcabrisk.org/vendors