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Association Emergency Clarity & Proactively Winterizing Your Home

Updated: Jan 23

When defining what constitutes an association emergency, it's essential to distinguish between situations that require immediate attention due to their potential to cause significant harm or damage, and those that, while inconvenient, do not pose an immediate threat. An emergency in the context of an association typically involves incidents that compromise the safety, structural integrity, or essential services of a property.

Owner Responsibilities and Non-Emergencies:

However, not all issues within an association's purview are emergencies. For example, a power outage, while inconvenient, is usually the responsibility of the local utility company (such as DTE) and not the association. Similarly, individual unit issues like a broken furnace or a malfunctioning water heater are typically the responsibility of the co-owner. Issues like burnt-out light fixtures, noise, or smoking complaints, while important, do not constitute immediate emergencies.

In these cases, it is up to the individual co-owner to address these concerns with the appropriate parties or service providers. The association’s role in non-emergencies is often limited to providing guidance or referrals to relevant services. It’s crucial for both the association and the co-owners to have a clear understanding of their responsibilities, and what constitutes an emergency, to ensure a swift and effective response when true emergencies arise.

Proactive Measures for the Cold

As winter rears, homeowners must shift their focus to safeguarding their residences against the freezing temperatures that threaten our plumbing systems. Here at KS Magazine, we understand the importance of preemptive action and are here to guide you through the essential steps to ensure your pipes remain intact through the coldest months.

Insulation: Your First Defense

Insulation is not just for walls and attics; it’s a critical shield for your pipes as well. Proper insulation acts as a barrier, keeping the heat in and the cold out. This simple step is an investment that can prevent costly repairs due to burst pipes in the future.

Heating Tape: Targeted Warmth

In areas where cold hits hardest, electrical heating tape is your go-to. It’s a targeted approach, providing direct heat to prevent your pipes from freezing. It’s especially useful for exposed pipes that are at the mercy of the outside chill.

Sealing Cracks: Don’t Invite the Cold In

Minor cracks and openings may seem innocuous but can be detrimental during winter, allowing cold air to seep in and cause pipes to freeze. Sealing these gaps with caulk not only keeps the cold out but also improves the overall warmth of your home.

Regulate Air Flow: An Open-and-Shut Case

The simple act of opening cabinet doors can aid in circulating warm air around plumbing. It's a small gesture with significant impact, especially at night when temperatures drop sharply.

Garage Doors: More Than Just An Entry Point

A closed garage door can provide an additional layer of insulation, creating a buffer zone that helps to maintain a warmer temperature in your garage and any adjacent areas, protecting any vulnerable pipes therein.

Thermostat: The Rhythm of Warmth

A consistent temperature in your home is essential. Setting your thermostat to the same temperature day and night minimizes the risk of pipes freezing and bursting.

Faucets: The Drip Effect

Allowing your faucets to drip slightly during extreme cold can prevent pressure buildup in the pipes, a common cause of bursting. This constant flow keeps water moving, making it more difficult for ice to form.

Heat Settings: The 55°F Rule

When leaving your home, keep the heat on and set it to at least 55°F. This is the optimum temperature to reduce heating costs while still protecting your pipes from freezing temperatures.

By implementing these steps, you're not merely preparing for winter; you're actively protecting your home from the inside out. Consistency in these practices is vital for ensuring your home stays warm and your plumbing stays functional.

For a Safe Season Ahead

Taking these measures before the deep freeze sets in can save a great deal of time, money, and discomfort down the line. Winterizing your plumbing isn’t just a preventative step; it’s an act of preserving the comfort and safety of your home throughout the season. Stay warm, stay prepared, and trust that your home is ready to face the winter with confidence.


  • Ensure heat is functioning to avoid frozen pipes

  • Initial inspection with co-owner

  • Monthly Inspections

  • Change furnace filters if needed*

  • Plumbing inspection to check for leaks

  • Exterior inspection

  • Ensure sump pump is functioning

  • Check to see if battery replacement is needed for smoke detectors*


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