Preparing for Fall and Winter Emergencies at Home

Fall and Winter is the time of year for the harshest weather in many areas of the country. It’s important to take the time to prepare for any emergency possibility. Here are some tips to help you keep your home and family safe through the Fall and Winter months of the year.

Thing to Check

When it gets cold outside, most of us will light up the fireplace or turn up the heat. No matter the method of heating you use in your home, it’s critical to check each method for safety before and during usage. For example, your fireplace should be checked and cleaned once per year especially if you use it often. It’s usually best to leave fireplace cleaning, or as many services are called, “chimney sweeps” as it can be a dangerous and dirty job. If you have a furnace, it’s important to do a comprehensive check on the furnace if you haven’t used it in a while. Same if you use baseboard heaters or other types of heating appliances. You should also make sure to clean all vents, replace all filters and make sure nothing is in front of, on top of or near any heating elements.

Something else that is critical to check is your smoke detector or smoke alarm. You should be checking the batteries on these once a month. Make sure to press the button on the detector to test the sound. You might also want to test the alarm by lighting a match underneath it to see if the alarm goes off and how quickly. Also, you should always use new, fresh batteries in your smoke detectors.

If you live in an area where it regularly or often gets below freezing during the winter months, it’s critical to take steps to make sure that your pipes don’t freeze. For any pipes that are exposed to the weather, such as outside your home, you can purchase foam or insulation that will wrap around those pipes to protect them from freezing. However, the best way to keep your pipes from freezing is to simply keep your water running, it just needs to be a slow drip or tiny stream of water to keep the water from freezing.

Emergency Preparation

The colder months are also the time when storms and weather make it more likely that the electricity will go out. Prepare for this by having some essential emergency supplies handy. Things like an emergency supply of food and water, extra blankets, a portable battery powered radio and battery powered LED flashlights.

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