Not being prepared for freezing weather and snow storms can put property owners’ homes and health at great risk. The hazards of winter can affect them whether they’re at home, outdoors or driving. Here are tips that property owners can use to keep their health and their homes safe during winter.
Preparedness At Home
- Winterizing Doors and Windows – Gaps and cracks around windows and doors should be sealed with weather stripping and caulk. Draft snakes should also be put around windows to stop cold air from entering the home.
- Insulating Air Ducts – About 20 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost if the ducts are poorly sealed. Thus, ducts should be properly sealed and insulated.
- Cleaning the Gutters – Doing this task regularly prevents water from leaking onto the home. During freezing temperatures, having clean gutters also helps prevent ice dams. Gutters and downspouts must also be regularly inspected for damage.
- Maintaining the Heating System – The heating system, wood stove, fireplace, and chimneys must be inspected and cleaned by a professional annually. This ensures they will be working properly throughout the year.
- Using Space Heaters Safely – Heaters should be plugged directly into wall outlets. Other electrical devices should not be plugged into the same outlet. Also, heaters must always be attended while operating.
- Testing the Smoke and CO Alarms – The smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in the home should be tested monthly to ensure they work properly. Batteries must be replaced twice a year.
Staying Safe Outside
- Dressing Appropriately – Those who venture outside should wear cold weather clothing such as tightly woven coats or jackets, inner layers of light clothing, as well as mittens, hats, scarves, and waterproof boots.
- Avoiding Ice Slips – To prevent this hazard, it’s a good idea to sprinkle cat litter or sand on icy patches around the home.
- Working Smart – When doing outside chores such as shoveling snow, it’s best to work slowly and take frequent breaks.
- Installing Fresh Coolant – The engine coolant level should be kept in the right proportion before temperatures drop. The car owner’s manual provides the best method to properly change the antifreeze.
- Checking the Tires – The tires should be inspected for wear and tear. They also must be properly inflated and have enough tread. All-weather tires or snow tires should be used.
- Watching the Fuel Gauge – The gas tank should be kept at least half-full to prevent fuel line freeze-ups. Drivers must ensure to fill the gas tank before parking the car for a lengthy period.
- Checking the Windshield Wipers – Those that are worn or hardened should be replaced. Also, only windshield wiper fluid that has antifreeze in it should be used. An ample supply of windshield washer fluid should be kept in the car.
- Having a Car Emergency Kit for Winter – The kit should include at least a flashlight, blanket, snow/ice scraper, and sand or salt.
For more tips to prepare for winter hazards, we suggest our tips to prevent winter water damage and to protect homes from winter storms. The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.