Snow is beautiful when you are safe inside, but freezing temperatures and winter weather can turn a regular day into a hazardous situation. Preparation is key to protecting your family and limiting damage to your home. Here are a few helpful winter safety tips to make the colder months of the year stress-free.
Safety With Snow Removal this Winter
Many homeowners don’t know that shoveling snow can be dangerous. Snow removal is the cause of hundreds of accidents and deaths each year. An ice or snow-covered ground is very slippery and can cause you to slip and fall while shoveling.
When you don’t remove the snow correctly, you may end up experiencing back pain or severe injuries. To stay safe, shovel for up to 20 minutes during the storm, and then take a break. Removing snow just a bit at a time is best for avoiding injuries.
Check the Batteries in Your Alarms
Two of the biggest winter safety hazards are house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Your best defense against falling victim to either of these is checking the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detector. Your home should have at least one device on each level. Make sure they are working before building a fire in the fireplace or heating your home with a gas-powered appliance.
Examine Your Roof
Before the snow arrives, check your roof for damage. Look for missing or cracked shingles and replace them. During the winter, a damaged or failing roof can become a significant problem. The weight of snow and ice can weaken already damaged roofing and lead to leaks.
Winter Safety: Prevent Frozen Pipes
Burst pipes are a serious concern, and any pipes in uninsulated or under-insulated portions of your home are at risk. Drain the outdoor faucets and turn them off before winter weather arrives to prevent damage from the freezing temperatures outside. Insulate the pipes in your basement and garage with a heat cable and/or traditional foam pipe sleeves.
Remove Leaves and Debris from the Gutters
When snow melts and ice forms, it will freeze inside your gutters if the water cannot properly drain. This is a safety hazard because gutters can break away from the house when loaded with the weight of ice and snow. Clean the gutters, removing leaves, animal nests, twigs, and other debris. Make sure water can flow freely out of the downspouts and away from your home.