Firefighters flocked to the Tanger Outlets in Westbrook on Thursday after extreme cold caused a pipe to burst at the Marquee Cinemas there, soaking the carpet.
Emergency responders said a nearby heater had not been turned on.
"It’s about an inch and a half pipe that runs throughout the building for the sprinkler system, and an elbow itself had actually frozen and split in two pieces. We had 150 PSI water shooting out of the pipe," said Westbrook Fire Chief Mike Jenkins. "The carpet is a little bit wet but other than that that’s about the only damage inside the theater."
To prevent plumbing problems in extreme cold, experts recommend taking the following steps:
- Let cold water drip from a faucet served by an exposed pipe
- Open up doors, especially bathroom and kitchen cabinets
- And last, watch the temperature of your home
“People tend to lower their temperature at night and the temperature should not be lowered. You should really raise your temperature. Spend the extra dollars at night during these frigid, cold nights especially when it’s high wind. You will save money in the long end rather than having the repairs,” said Julianne Godwin, owner of plumbing company R.E. Godwin & Sons.
The fire department also responds to fires caused by people improperly thawing out their pipes. It's best to call a professional if you suspect a problem.
Photo Credit: Westbrook Fire Department