Madison Fire responds to dozens of burst pipes over holiday weekend

Updated: Dec. 29, 2022 at 10:30 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Madison Fire Department is warning about burst pipes due to freezing after responding to dozens of calls over the holiday weekend.

“The spike in the calls really occurred on Christmas Day; that’s when we got about 10 calls,” said MFD public information officer Cynthia Schuster. “And it’s affected multiple types of properties, homes, businesses, hotels.”

Schuster says the department received over 30 calls for leaks and burst pipes due to freezing over the holiday weekend and into the final week of December. Despite the warm temps in the last days of 2022, Schuster anticipates more cold weather before the winter is over, attempting to get out in front of potentially more burst pipes.

Schuster says most of the calls they responded to were the result of poor insulation and has a few suggestions for people trying to avoid the disaster in the future.

“Open up your cabinet drawers that are in front of your sink drains that are in your bathroom and your kitchen. That allows for the warmer air to be in contact with your pipes and avoid freeze-ups there. Never leave your windows and doors open in the winter,” Schuster said.

Cooper Plumbing owner Brandon Cooper says another good rule of thumb is keeping the thermostat between 50 and 60 degrees when you leave, whether it is for the winter, vacation or even the weekend, as a burst pipe due to freezing can cause significant damage.

“That’s probably the biggest, besides a fire, a burst pipe in the winter can disrupt everything and your quality of living; it could be months before you’re back into a place, and it’s bad enough,” said Cooper.

MFD’s Schuster also emphasized the importance of home or renters insurance if the worst happens.

“For many people, especially renters, it’s very difficult to bounce back from a situation like this,” Schuster said.

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