DEAR ABBY: This is good advice any time of the year, but especially now that the weather is cold. Please tell your readers to locate the main water shut-off valve in the house and make sure it's in good working order now, before they have an internal water leak.
I work as a dispatcher, and you would be surprised at the number of people who call and don't know where the water meter and shut-off valves are located. They become frantic when a pipe breaks and causes damage, and demand that a water company representative respond immediately to turn off the water.
Most water companies are not responsible for internal leaks, but that's hard to explain to a panicked customer.
While they are at it, they should also locate and inspect the shut-offs for sinks, toilets, washing machines, etc. -- WATER COMPANY DISPATCHER
DEAR DISPATCHER: Good advice. People should also make sure the wrench they may need is handy and that they know how to use it.