With bitter cold weather on its way to Massachusetts, fire officials are warning against accidentally causing fires by trying to thaw frozen pipes.

To prevent frozen pipes, officials are asking residents to let water drip from faucets with pipes in outside walls when it’s very cold outside.

“Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing,” officials said in a statement.

Opening kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors can also allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.

Residents are advised to keep their thermostats set to the same temperature day and night to prevent costly repair jobs if the pipes freeze and burst.

Those going away during cold weather are asked to leave the heat on in your home and business no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Outside water should always be shut off, officials said.

If pipes become frozen, officials urge you to turn on the faucet only to let a trickle come out.

After finding the area of the water pipe that may be frozen, officials said to keep the faucet open since running water through the pipe will help melt more ice in the pipe.

An electric heating pad can be applied to the section of the pipe that is frozen and can be wrapped around the pipe, as well as an electric hair dryer or towel soaked in hot water.

Residents are advised not to use a blowtorch since that will boil the water in the pipe, causing it to explode.

A licensed plumber should be called if you are unable to locate the frozen area or water pressure is still not fully restored.

Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes, officials said.

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