Frozen pipes are a problem you never want to deal with but are all too common during the first extended cold snap in winter.
I want you protected, so do me a favor and as soon as you are done reading this blog post, remove any hoses you have attached to your outdoor faucets and then go in the house and turn off the water to the outside faucet (also called a hose bibb or sill cock).
It is critical to remove any hoses attached to the outside faucet! An attached garden hose is sure recipe for frozen pipe damage this winter. Use a hair dryer if necessary to thaw out a frozen hose connection to the sill cock in order to remove the hose.
The sill cock only turns water on and off outside, there is (or is supposed to be) a water shut off valve inside the house for the outside faucet. You may have to do some investigating in your home following water supply lines to try and find the shut off valve. They are usually located near the outside faucet.
By removing any hoses and turning off the water supply to the sill cock you have averted major risk of water damage done by a burst frozen pipe.
I explain how to protect yourself from frozen pipes in the tutorial, Thawing a Frozen Water Pipe. Frozen water exerts thousands of pounds of pressure per square inch on a pipe and can burst it, causing flooding and major damage to your home. But there are right ways and wrong ways to thaw out a frozen pipe, which I'll show you, and knowing how to perform this critical repair and prevent it from from occurring in the first place can save your home.