Winter time can be both beautiful and bothersome. As we enter the last 4 or 5 weeks of winter time, it is important to be prepared for inclement weather conditions at your home. Though there are thousands of ways to keep your home protected during winter, here are five ways to help keep your home free from hazards that winter weather can bring.
1) Unhook hoses from outdoor spigots. While leaving a hose attached to an outdoor pipe can be convenient, during the winter months it is critical to remove them. When temperatures dip below freezing, the water built up in the hose can expand and back up into the pipe, causing catastrophic damage.
2) Shovel and salt all potential walkways. Any lay outdoor surface around your house can be a hazard area when temperatures drop below freezing. If there is a potential for someone to walk on any of these flat surfaces, there is also a potential for a slip and fall accident when ice and/or water is present. It is prudent to both shovel and salt all outdoor areas where people might walk. If you have pets, there are special salts that are pet-friendly and won't hurt their paws.
3) Keep the thermostat set to 70-72 degrees in your home. This not only will help with energy efficiency but also will help the pipes stay warm in your house. Not to mention the people living in your house don't want to be freezing! By setting your thermostat at a consistent temperature, your furnace doesn't have to work so hard to heat the house. As you can imagine, an indoor temperature in the mid to low 60s will leave your furnace working overtime to reach 70.
4) Avoid using space heaters. Space heaters can be useful for short periods of time, but they should be avoided for long term use due to potential fire hazard. If you are using a space heater, make sure you buy a version that automatically shuts off when it falls or has a blanket or other object fall on top of it. Space heaters use a large amount of energy and can put a strain on your home's electric wiring. If you can, use space heaters only for short periods of time and avoid running them overnight. Due to the excessive heat build up a space heater can create, fires started by space heaters can be intense and spread rapidly to the already hot surfaces around it.
5) Make sure to monitor the amount of snow built up on rooftops and on gutters. The weight of snow and ice on a roof top can be enough to cause a collapse. Be sure to speak with a roofing expert if you suspect you have a dangerous amount of snow and/or ice building up on your roof.
Hopefully the five tips will help you keep safety in mind this winter season. Later this week, we will make a blog post discussing five tips on how to stay safe with your vehicle this winter.
Any information and recommendations contained in this communication have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. However, Lon Brown Insurance, Fearrin Insurance, Key Henson Jackson Insurance and Auto-Owners Insurance Group accepts no legal responsibility for the accuracy, sufficiency, or completeness of such information. Additional safety and health procedures may be required to comply with local, state, or federal law. Content in this document is not legal advice, nor does it amend the terms, conditions, or coverages of any insurance policy issued by herein above listed insurance agencies and/or companies. Materials provided by Brown Insurance Group for use as an educational tool.