Even if your area doesn’t experience heavy snowfall, that doesn’t mean homeowners won’t face freezing rain and ice. Be ready when the temperature drops. Here are a few ways to keep your home safe during winter weather.
Winterize Your Home
Inspect the weatherstripping around your windows. If it is cracked or peeling, remove it and install new weatherstripping. Check around windows and doors for cracks and use caulk to fill them. Sealing air leaks will help keep warm air in your house when it’s cold outside.
Stay Safe During Winter Weather: Protect the Plumbing
If temperatures drop, the water inside plumbing pipes can freeze, expand, and cause the pipe to rupture. Water damage is a hassle and repairs can be costly. When cold weather is expected, assess your pipes. The ones that run along outside walls, especially, should be wrapped in pipe insulation. Indoors, open cabinets that house pipes and sink drains. This will allow warm air from your home to circulate beneath the cabinets, keeping the pipes at a safe temperature.
Before freezing weather arrives, winterize your outdoor faucets. Turn the water off from inside and drain the tap completely. This will prevent the water inside the pipes from freezing.
As a homeowner, it’s helpful to know where the main water shut-off is located. If a pipe breaks, you’ll need to turn off the water to prevent flooding and damage.
Test Your Smoke Alarms to Keep Your Home Safe During Winter
When the weather gets cold, you might use a fireplace as a backup heat source. Before building a fire, test the smoke detectors throughout your home. Make sure you have at least one device on each level of the house. Replace the batteries if it has been longer than 6 months since fresh batteries were installed.
If you heat or cook with propane, install a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that is a by-product of combustion. Exposure can lead to nausea, headaches, dizziness, and even death. Make sure your home is safe by maintaining your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
When bad weather is predicted, make sure you have a supply of firewood for the fireplace or wood-burning stove. Well-seasoned hardwood is the best choice for burning indoors. Never burn trash, including newspaper and cardboard boxes, as this can release toxic fumes into your home.
Stay Safe at Home When the Power Goes Out
In case of a power outage, you want to be prepared. Put on layers of warm clothing. Make sure you have bottled water and non-perishable foods available. If a winter storm is expected, create an emergency kit that contains items you may need. Gather enough flashlights and batteries for each member of your family. Use solar lights that you can charge outside during the day. At dusk, bring them indoors to illuminate your living spaces.