Winter Safety Tips

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Winter Weather Safety Tips & Reminders

It’s important to take the time to properly prepare your home for the colder months. Help keep your home protected and your heating bills manageable, by using the following tips to winterize your home:

  • Have your heating system and chimney cleaned out and inspected by a professional.
  • Add a second layer of insulation to your attic.
  • Install and/or replace weather stripping on all doors and windows.
  • Install storm windows and doors.
  • Survey your roof.
  • Replace roof shingles that are damaged or missing and survey the roof to ensure that it can withstand the weight of ice and snow.
  • Trim trees away from your home.
  • Replace batteries in your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
  • If your smoke detector is 10 years or older it may not detect smoke. In such a case, you are advised to replace the entire unit.
  • As a safer alternative, consider using dry kindling to start your campfire instead of liquid fire starter.
  • Stock your home with rock salt, sand, and snow shovels.

Pipes located in colder areas of your home such as outside, the attic, and crawl spaces are susceptible to freezing in cold temperatures. Prevent the pipes in your home from freezing by taking the following precautions before the temperature begins to drop.

  • Drain and shut off outdoor water faucets.
  • Use insulated sleeves to prevent the pipes from getting cold enough to freeze.
  • Use caulking to seal around pipes that are located outside of your home.
  • Keep water flowing through faucets that are connected to unheated or unprotected pipes.
  • During cold spells, keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate around pipes (especially in the kitchen and bathroom).
  • Replace batteries in your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
  • If your smoke detector is 10 years or older it may not detect smoke. In such a case, you are advised to replace the entire unit.

Occurring when interior heat melts the snow on your roof, ice dams are an accumulation of ice where your gutter meets your roof. Prevent ice dams, which can inhibit water from draining off your roof and therefore cause leaks, by following these tips before the snow starts to fall.

  • Keep your attic ventilated. If your attic is cool, the snow on your roof will not melt as quickly.
  • Insulate your attic floor to minimize the amount of heat that rises from within your home to keep your attic cool.

Whether it’s a vacation or business trip, if you are leaving your home for an extended period of time it is important to make sure your home is protected and safe. Use the following tips to ensure that when you return home, your house is in the same state as when you left.

  • If you are going away for a long period of time, shut the water off and have your water pipes drained.
  • If you will not be away for a long period of time, leave your water on and set your thermostat above 55 degrees.
  • Close and lock all doors, windows, skylights, and vents, this will ensure that your home stays dry.
  • Unplug all appliances.
  • Install tapered deadbolt locks on all entry doors. Hook up all interior and exterior lights to timers and or motion sensors.
  • Light timers will allow you to schedule different times of the day for the lights to be turned on and off.
  • Stop all mail service and newspaper deliveries.