Montreal is going through a bitterly cold stretch. That could mean frozen pipes if you're not careful.

CBC Montreal spoke with plumber Benjamin Lessard about ways to keep your pipes warm and your water flowing.

The heat is on

Lessard says you should keep the temperature in your house above 21 C.

Also, if you have a garage, keep it heated at around 15 C.

Keep a tap running

Leaving a cold water tap running slightly – or even just dripping – is also helpful, Lessard said.

"We use the cold so you don't waste any hot water. It's as simple as that and make sure that your pipes aren't clogged so that you won't cause any water damage," he said.

Lessard says leaving your bathtub faucet on slightly is best.

"If your drain is blocked, you'll have more time," he said.

Worst case

If your pipes do freeze, Lessard says you're better off calling 911 before you call a plumber. 

"The fire department is faster than we are and they'll come and shut your water off. They have all the tools to do so. If it's your main valve, [a plumber] can't shut the water off to the street," he said.

If you have water damage, call your insurance company. 

If you have a small repair, then call your plumber.