Winter is here! There are fun and festivities, but there are also some dangers you need to be aware of. Preparing your home now will be the best way to avoid potential risks. We want you to be happy and safe, so we’ve put together a list of things to help you get your home ready.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- Make sure you have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed and that they are in working order. Replace batteries twice a year or as needed.
- Having inspections done yearly can keep you safe, warm, and dry during the season.
- To make sure your heating system is functioning properly, change filters and have a yearly inspection. Furnaces should be checked for cracks or other possible damage and the thermostat should be tested to be sure it is running properly. This should be done by a qualified technician.
- If using a fireplace, make sure it has been properly cleaned, maintained, and inspected each year to avoid possible risks.
- Do a roof check for any leaks or other damages. Repair seals around chimneys and vent stacks. Clear away any debris including pine needles, leaves, or branches to avoid rot and possible mold.
- Be sure to remove all snow and ice from walkways and driveways. Ice melt or rock salt can also be applied to prevent further ice formation.
- Check and replace light bulbs for outdoor lighting. Make sure there is a well-lit path along your walkway for visitors and family.
- Clean and clear out all gutters to prevent icicles and ice dams. Fix holes or other damages. Check for proper drainage from downspouts. Make sure water is moving away from the home and add extenders if needed.
- Take proper care to prep pipes for freezing temperatures. Disconnect garden hoses and drain excess water. Winterize home sprinkler systems. In freezing temperatures, shut off water to outside faucets and drain excess water. Let cold water drip from a faucet to relieve pressure. Opening cabinet doors will also help with warm air circulation.
- Protect pipes with added insulation like foam pipe sleeves or insulation tape. Common areas to check are crawl spaces, basements, and attics.
- Know where water shut-off valves are located so that you know how to turn them off if there is a water emergency.
- Any fuel-burning equipment like wood stoves, fireplaces, kerosene heaters, etc. should be vented to the outside and kept clear.
- Check dryer vents regularly for lint buildup. Also, check vents to the outside to be sure there are no blockages.
- Warm-up cars outside of the garage to avoid carbon monoxide from entering the home.
Properly preparing our homes for winter will help to avoid many of the risks that come with the season. We want you and your family to be safe, so follow our tips to get your home in order today.
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