Essential Home Safety Tips for the Holiday Season: Cold Weather Safety: Winterize Your Home
The smell of freshly baked cookies and the sight of twinkling lights throughout your neighborhood can only mean one thing – the holiday season is here. Decorating your home, opening stockings by the fire, lighting the menorah, or toasting to the New Year with friends and family are festivities many people look forward to every year.
While there is plenty of fun to be had during the holiday season, there’s also an increased chance for something to go wrong if you’re not cautious or well prepared. From home fires and snow damage to theft and home burglaries, there are plenty of problems that can arise. Keep these home safety tips in mind this winter so you can be as safe as possible for the festivities to come.
Emily Huddleston from Redfin has some safety tips to remember this holiday and winter season.
Snow may be beautiful, but the winter months can be a hazard for your loved ones and your home if you’re not careful. Icy driveways, ice dams, and frozen pipes are just a few problems that can arise. Before the deep chill of winter sets in, be sure to winterize your home.
- Swap out screens for storm windows, and be sure to seal gaps around doors and windows with weather stripping.
- Clean up debris around the landscape of your home as well as the roof.
- Check all exterior vents and be sure they’re closed.
- Prevent ice dams from forming on your roof by minimizing the amount of snowmelt; clean your gutters and keep your attic cool and ventilated. Icicles can be a sign that an ice dam is forming.
- Carefully remove icicles that are within reach; if they’re too high up or don’t easily knock off, hire a professional to remove them to avoid potential injuries.
- Keep your driveway and sidewalk clear by shoveling off snow, or using a snowblower, and applying a deicer.
- Drain all remaining water from outdoor faucets or sprinkler systems to protect your pipes from freezing.
Your habits on the road matter in the winter, too. Prepare your car by ensuring you have snow brushes and ice scrapers, and consider putting salt or kitty litter in the trunk in case you encounter icy driveways or roads. Make sure to stock your vehicle with all the staples, such as first aid kits, road flares, and a jack. If you’re concerned about breaking down in the cold, store a few extra blankets and coats as well. For those in areas prone to very heavy snowfall, such as Minneapolis, don’t forget about snow tires and chains.