The severe cold of this winter can cause dangerous conditions outside. While you can’t control the weather, you can take precautions in your home to ensure that your home is weather-proofed. There are 5 safety tips you should consider this winter to protect your home and your family against the harsh weather. With the historical cold temperatures in the area, you should act now.
1. Maintain your furnace to ensure it has its maximum efficiency. If it has been awhile since you have had your furnace checked or serviced, you should call immediately and have a qualified heating contractor inspect your furnace, chimney and water heater. You want to make sure that your furnace is working at its fullest capacity during these cold winter months.
2. You need to protect the pipes. The intense cold can easily freeze your pipes, which could cause them to burst. To help prevent this from happening, you should open the cabinet doors in which your pipes are stored, to let warm air circulate around them. You should also let cold water slowly drip out of your faucet, since even a small amount of water being released from the pipes can prevent them from freezing.
3. Make sure that you are heating your home safely. With your furnace working in overdrive, some people may try to find alternate sources of heating their home, which can be very unsafe. You should not use your gas or electric stove/oven to provide additional heat to your home. In doing so, you are allowing unnecessary gas into your home. If you are not warm enough in your home, add on layers of clothing, or use heavy blankets to provide extra warmth.
4. Have your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detectors installed and maintained in your home. You should be sure to replace the batteries on a regular basis. A great tip is to change the batteries each time there is a time change. Your major home appliances, such as your furnace and dryer vent gas and air outside of your home. If snow or ice has covered these vents, then the gases are not able to leave your home. Make sure that the vents are clear and open, and also make sure that your detectors are working properly. You should call for medical attention immediately if you suspect there might be carbon monoxide in your home or if you are feeling light-headed, dizzy or nauseous.
The final cold weather safety tip is to use your generator correctly in case of a power outage. A generator should never be operated inside of your home, which includes your basement and garage. You also should not hook your generator up to your home’s wiring. Instead, you should connect whatever it is you would like to power directly to the outlets on the generator.