ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) – Temperatures this week are expected to drop below zero, and there are some home preparations you need to start thinking about.

When experiencing freezing temperatures, one of the most important things to keep in mind is making sure you leave your faucet dripping to avoid frozen pipes. According to Travis Cooper with Sebastian County Emergency Management, you should also obtain a cover for your spigot outside the home.

If any ice accumulations occur, it could bring down tree limbs onto power polls. If you see any near your home that look like they could present a danger, try to remove them or call your electric company for assistance on how to move forward.

If for some reason the power in your home goes out, you should use caution when using alternative heat sources, especially space heaters.

“We don’t want any house fires, which is the number one disaster and emergency in Arkansas and Oklahoma. We don’t want that to happen,” said Cooper.

He recommends making sure the heater is three feet away from all objects and walls, keeping blankets away from the heater, and making sure nothing flammable is nearby.

If the space heater is electric, make sure the outlet isn’t overworked.

As an added method of warmth, Cooper advised placing blankets over doors and windows to keep the home and certain rooms well-insulated as well as keeping down your electric bill.

When it comes to actually heating your home, Devaan Choppala with Paschal Air, Plumbing & Electric said the heating unit is going to be running non-stop to try to meet the needs of the home. That means issues could occur at any time. His advice- make sure you check your filters and if you have time, call someone to check your heater for any problems.

If you’re going to be out of town or away from your home, Choppala said you can set your temperature significantly lower.

“Set that temperature down quite a bit. 50 to 80 degrees should be plenty of heat to make sure nothing happens inside the home,” said Choppala.

You should set your inside temperature at whatever is comfortable to you, however, you should expect to pay more money on your next bill.

“There’s a really good chance after we have this really cold weather, your utility bills are going to be higher because your system is having to work so much harder,” said Choppala.

Choppala also said you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to start making plans.

“Now’s the best time to make sure that everything is working the way it’s supposed to. So that you don’t have these issues when we hit those really cold temperatures,” said Choppala.