November 23, 2014
Ensure Your Home Is Safe and Secure This Winter
As Ben Franklin famously stated, ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Nowhere is this quote more applicable than with your household maintenance. While your homeowners policy is designed to protect you; avoiding problems is by far the better option. Proper preventative maintenance can go a long way to enhancing your families safety while also saving you money and potential headaches.
Here are a few key items to check as you begin to prepare for the winter ahead.
Check your Smoke and CO2 Detectors
Fireplaces, Wood Stoves, Furnaces, Electric Heaters, and even Holiday lights are all potential winter hazards that can be simply safeguarded by ensuring you have working smoke and CO2 detectors. Vacuum the smoke detector sensors to keep free of dust, install new batteries, or even install new ones for a little as $20 a unit.
Get Your Chimney Cleaned
Over time the exhaust from your fireplace or wood stove will build up a sticky residue of creosote that can be highly combustible and can cause a chimney fire. Although a “fire” in your “fireplace” might need seem so scary; chimney fires burn so hot that they can damage to the chimney structure which quickly can spread to other, more combustible parts of your house. Getting your chimney cleaned regularly can eliminate this hazard.
Protect Pipes From Freezing.
A ruptured pipe can ruin your home and everything in it. Ruptured pipes occur during winter when the pipes freeze and the frozen water inside expands. You can protect against this by never letting your home’s temperature fall below 65 degrees. Wrap pipes running along the exterior walls in heat tape, and be sure to check on your pipes on those bitterly cold nights.
Empty The Gutters
If left unchecked, falling leaves and other debris will clog your gutters and downspouts, which can cause ice dams in the winter. Start by trimming or removing trees and hedges near the gutters. If you lack the tools to complete this project, you can rent a brush cutter, tree trimmer or ladder to do the job. Once obstructions have been removed, clear the gutters to prevent a future home disaster.