With the coldest air of the season poised to arrive tonight through Wednesday, here is a great website that outlines safety tips for the public. In studies across the eastern U.S. it has been noted that if the temperature remains 12°F below the average temperature for 48 hours or longer significant impacts can arise.
Here are some of those findings (trickle water and wrap pipes, turn up the thermostat, use space heaters carefully, etc.). It has been observed that fire departments, could end up fighting more fires in icy conditions as people use space heaters because they are not used to running them.
Typically the pipes that burst are fire sprinklers in the ceilings of office buildings, schools, etc. It often happens over long weekends or holidays, when building thermostats are turned down to save heating costs.