Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the Inspectional Services Department today issued a reminder to Boston residents to prepare for frigid temperatures by making homes weather tight, and ensuring heating systems are running properly and adequately fueled. In the month of December, Inspectional Services received 129 “no heat” calls.
“As temperatures drop in Boston, we’re encouraging residents, landlords and property managers to be proactive in servicing their home plumbing and heating systems,” Mayor Menino said. “We’re also asking neighbors to look out for one another, and to take appropriate safety measures to prepare for the cold. Our 24-hour hotline is always on hand to help with any concerns residents may have.”
As residents brace for winter weather, Inspectional Services encourages both property owners and tenants to prepare by doing the following:
Service Your Plumbing and Heating Systems:
Planned Repairs Are Cheaper Than Emergency Repairs
- Make sure your heating systems are up to code and working properly – minimize the chances of them breaking down
- Do not run out of fuel, try to keep no less than a quarter tank of oil
- Keep service plan handy in case of emergency
- Property owners should have an emergency list of contractors(electrician, plumber and general contractor)
Heat Your Home, Not Outdoors:
Keep the Cold Out
- Close and secure all storm windows and doors
- Install door guards on all exterior doorways
- Apply weather stripping to windows and doors
- Properly insulate all pipes exposed to cold temperatures
- Cover vents
- Disconnect water hose and wrap or cover exposed spigot
- Caulk or putty windows
- Ensure kitchen and bathroom dampers close properly
According to the Massachusetts State Sanitary Code, landlords and property managers must supply functioning heating systems from September 15 through June 15. During this time the temperature of units must be maintained at 68 degrees during the day (7 a.m.to 11 p.m.) and 64 degrees in the evening (11:01 p.m. to 6:59 a.m.). Tenants experiencing problems with heating systems should contact a landlord or property manager immediately. If they are unresponsive, tenants should contact the Inspectional Services Department (ISD) at 617-635-5300 to file a complaint. Complaints made outside normal business hours should be called into the Mayor’s 24-Hour Hotline at 617-635-4500.
In partnership with MassSave, NSTAR and National Grid, Renew Boston provides no-cost energy assessments and 75% off – up to $2,000 – on qualified insulation improvements for households in 1-4 unit buildings. There are no income qualifications and renters and landlords are encouraged to participate. Those interested in learning more about the program should call 617-635-SAVE. For more information regarding home heating regulations log onto: http://www.cityofboston.gov/isd/housing/pdfs/winter.pdf.
City emergency management organizations have compiled a list of personal and home safety tips for cold weather preparation, available at www.cityofboston.gov/cold. The site also acts as a central location for residents filing service requests for cold-weather related issues, including insufficient heat, gas or electric problems, smoke and carbon monoxide detector inspections, and reporting oil truck issues.
The Elderly Commission reminds residents to check on their elderly neighbors. Additional information is available by calling the Elderly Commission at 617-635-4366. The City’s Shelter Commission asks that any resident who sees a potential medical emergency involving a homeless person dial 9-1-1.