It only takes a few minutes to avoid a surprise watery mess this winter. Protect pipes from freezing and bursting by doing two important things: Drain and store your hoses and turn off your outdoor faucets.
Turn off the water at the shut-off valve (all your outdoor faucets will have a shut-off valve, usually found indoors) and turn each outdoor faucet on to let it drain. Consider replacing outdoor faucets with freeze-proof versions — or for something less complicated, install insulated faucet covers over outdoor faucets.
For additional protection, wrap your pipes with foam pipe insulation or foam tape to help prevent freezing. Remember, too, that it's not only outdoor faucets that are vulnerable — pipes that run through attics, crawl spaces and exterior walls all have the potential to burst in subfreezing weather.