Owners of vacant buildings in Binghamton are being urged to take steps to prevent pipes from freezing.

City officials are suggesting owners of empty structures consider having the water turned off to eliminate the risk of property damage from frozen pipes over the next few months.

People who own vacant buildings where the utilities haven't been shut off are advised to be sure thermostats are set to provide sufficient heat -- usually at least 55 degrees.

City residents who are aware of vacant buildings may notify the water department so officials may determine whether water service has been turned off. The department may be reached at 607.772.7210.