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The original item was published from 11/24/2014 7:51:00 PM to 11/18/2015 12:05:03 AM.

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Posted on: November 17, 2014

[ARCHIVED] Winter Tips for Time Away from Home

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The City of East Lansing’s Building & Housing Division is offering a few helpful tips for residents who plan to be away from home during the colder months and/or the holidays. These tips could help in preventing home damages and/or fines.

1.) Avoid frozen pipes. Residents may want to turn down the thermostat in order to save on bills, but should be sure the level is adequate to keep the inside temperature above freezing. If the thermostat is turned too far down, the pipes in the house could freeze and burst. Most recommendations say to turn the temperature down no lower than 55° F.

2.) Shutting off water supply. If away for an extended period of time, it might be a good idea to shut off the water supply. Shutting off the water supply can prevent pipes from bursting inside the home.

3.) Make a checklist. It’s a good idea to check around the exterior and interior of a home and decide what needs to be done before leaving.

4.) Stop mail/newspapers and consider timers for lights. Having the mail held (or sent to a different address) and putting lights on timers will prevent the residence from looking vacant. This could help to prevent a break-in/robbery.

5.) Unplug all appliances. If the electricity is left on, it is a good idea to unplug electric appliances to avoid the risk of fire.

6.) Clean the gutters. If gutters are full of debris, water can back up against the house and damage roofing, siding and wood trim.

7.) Make arrangements to have snow/ice cleared from sidewalks and driveways. East Lansing residents are responsible for clearing the snow/ice on the sidewalks adjacent to their property. If planning to be away, even for a short period of time, be sure to hire someone or arrange to have a friend or neighbor clear any snow/ice that accumulates. Find the City’s snow removal requirements at

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