PITTSFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Due to the back to back fires this past weekend in Pittsfield, the Pittsfield Fire Department announced a few safety reminders for local residents on Monday.

With the cold weather continuing to blast Massachusetts, the Pittsfield Fire Department reminds residents how to safely thaw frozen pipes.

“We know frozen pipes are a major hassle to deal with; however, using certain methods to thaw them out are just not safe. This activity can result in major damage to the structure and can lead to potential injuries for those inhabiting these locations,” said Chief Tom Sammons. “This is the worst-case scenario that we want to avoid. That’s why we want the public to take this guidance seriously.”

If you find a frozen pipe in your home, turn on both the hot and cold faucets. “This will help to relieve pressure in the system and will allow the water to start moving during thawing,” Sammons notes.

22News also spoke with a rep at Noonan Energy who said it’s safer to use a hair dryer instead.

“Frozen pipes can be an expensive proposition too, once they burst and you get water damage then you are talking thousands of dollars,” Tim Noonan explained. He recommends, “Insulate some of your pipes, especially if it’s on an outside wall you might want to do that.”

The Pittsfield Fire Department list a few tools that you can use to help aid in thawing frozen pipes. The household items and tools can include a hair dryer, hot towels, a portable space heater, a heat lamp, and electrical heat tape. While using a portable space heater or a heat lamp, there must be a 3 foot distance between the pipe and the heater and to never leave either tool unattended.

Sammons also advised to start from the faucet and then move to the frozen area of the pipe.

“Rule of thumb: Never, ever use an open flame such as a propane torch to thaw pipes,” he says.

Even though the listed household items can be used to help thaw frozen pipes, Sammons warns residents there is still risk.

“When unsure, it may be best to call a professional for assistance,” Sammons encourages.