Avoiding Winter Weather Catastrophes

Winter is just around the corner for those of us in Southeast Texas. As we move into December, January and February, we’ll see more nights with colder temperatures for longer periods of time. Now is the time to be winterizing your home. Below are some tips to help make it through the freezing temperatures.

When water freezes it expands. This can be bad news for water systems as the expansion can cause pipes and valves to burst. The best way to protect against bursting pipes in your irrigation system is to drain the system to relieve any pressure. The underground piping for your sprinkler system is protected by the ground itself as it acts as an insulator. The most susceptible parts of your irrigation system are the backflow preventers and shutoff valves that are usually located above ground in that U-shaped piping. Wrapping the pipes, valves, and backflow preventer with insulation after closing the main irrigation valve and draining the system is the easiest way to avoid costly repairs.

Exposed pipes in your home should also be insulated to protect them from freezing. Don’t forget those exposed pipes in your attic that may be susceptible. Outside water faucets and garden hoses can also hold water that may freeze and expand. Make sure garden hoses are disconnected from water sources and drained. Exposed water faucets should also be insulated.  These pre-freezing tips can help you avoid headaches and expensive repairs down the road.

Crime Prevention Tips

The holiday season is upon us and while we are all preparing for family festivities, criminals are preparing for opportunities to take advantage of your holiday shopping spree!  The December holiday season historically sees an increase in criminal activities, but motor vehicle theft is one of the most common criminal activities that takes place year-round.

As a homeowner there are several things you can do to help avoid being the victim of this type of activity:

  • Always remove your keys, roll up windows, and lock your car. Never leave your keys in the car while you are away, even if your car is parked in your garage.
  • Do not leave valuables in your car, even if they are out of sight. If you must leave something valuable in your vehicle lock it in the trunk.  If a criminal sees items of value in a vehicle, then they are more likely to break into that vehicle.
  • The most common items stolen from vehicles are:
    • GPS Devices
    • Video Players
    • Handguns
    • Money
    • Briefcases
    • Laptop Computers
    • Purses
    • Smartphones
    • Tools
  • If possible, park your car in your garage, next best alternative is your driveway. Try to avoid street parking, cars parked on the street are broken into more frequently than cars parked in a driveway.
  • Always activate your car alarm if you have one.
  • Report any suspicious activity immediately to the Sheriff’s or Constable’s Office.

To report suspicious activity or non-emergency criminal activities you may call:

Harris County Constable Precinct 5 – (832) 927-6700

Harris County Sheriff’s Office – (713) 221-6000