CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The frigid cold temperatures during this time of the year could compromise your home’s plumbing.

When temperatures drop water may freeze inside plastic pipes, which causes it to expand and pressurize. Not only can frozen pipes prevent water from flowing properly, but they can potentially burst and cause flooding in your home.

If your pipes are frozen there are ways to unfreeze them safely before calling for help. Start by turning on the faucet and allowing it to drip slightly to prevent the pipe from bursting. An open faucet relieves this pressure buildup, in turn preventing a burst from occurring.

Then, apply heat to the frozen area. You can wrap the pipes in thermostatically controlled heat tape, or you can use an external heat source such as a hair dryer or space heater. Don’t stop heating until the full water pressure is restored.

22News spoke to one resident about what they do to prevent frozen pipes.

“We used to grab those little pool tubes pool noodles that you can get at like the dollar store cut it lengthwise and wrap it around your pipes. It’s cheap it’s easy it gives it a little extra insulation” said Tabitha Vieira from North Dakota.

To protect against freezing pipes, ensure plumbing is well-insulated, and leave faucets dripping. Make sure to avoid using any kind of open flame to thaw your pipes.