In case you missed it, the groundhog saw his shadow which means 6 more weeks of winter. Follow these 10 winter safety tips to stay safe through spring.
- Invest in a good ice scraper. If you live in an area prone to frost or snow, invest in a good ice scraper that incorporates a snow broom. The proper tools can save a lot of time and hassle when scraping snow and ice off your car. Make sure your snow blower, snow shovels, and gloves are in working order and easily accessible too.
- Keep your gutters clean. A clogged gutter can flood your flowerbeds and saturate your home’s foundation.
- Give your yard some TLC. Winter storms can cause tree limbs to fall. Keep branches at least three feet from your house and roof to prevent damage to your home’s exterior.
- Seal gaps around doors and windows. Keep warm by minimizing drafts in your house. Inspect the frames surrounding your doors and windows. Replace any worn weather stripping and caulk any gaps.
- Consider professional inspections. When was the last time your chimney or furnace was professionally cleaned and inspected? The National Fire Protection Association recommends chimneys, fireplaces and vents to be inspected at least once a year. HVAC contractors recommend newer furnaces be checked every other year and those over 10 years old to be checked annually.
- Assess your lighting. Do a quick walk-through of your home – inside and out – to assess your lighting. Clean windows and blinds to help accentuate natural light and add light fixtures to brighten darker spaces.
- Keep a full stock of coolant, gasoline and washer fluid. Coolant, or antifreeze, keeps the radiator in your car from freezing in cold temperatures. Gasoline can also help prevent accumulated water from freezing the inside of your fuel tank while windshield washer fluid is necessary for any messy debris that could dirty your windows.
- Replenish your emergency kits. A basic emergency supply kit should include flashlights, extra batteries, a three-day supply of water and food, and other first-aid supplies. Check out our previous blog post about what to include in your kit.
- Prevent your pipes from freezing. An easy fix is to open bottom cabinets to allow warmer air to circulate near the pipes. Leaving faucets dripping very slightly also helps prevent freezing if a house in a cold climate is untended and unheated for short periods. Consumer Reports also suggests keeping your thermostat set to the same temperature during the day and night.
- Monitor local news and weather reports. Severe weather can strike at any time during winter months. Make it a practice to follow local news outlets and monitor for any storm warnings.
If you’ve made recent improvements to your home that have increased its value, be sure to let us know so your coverage can be updated.