Winter can be a great season for those who enjoy the snow or even ice. But for me, I do not look forward to winter for several reasons. Think about it… The probability of car accidents increase, the electricity / gas / oil bills increase, the frequency of freezing days increase, number of days with dry skin increase, and dealing with home hazards as home owners increase. I am hoping for a good winter season as we officially celebrate the Chinese New Year this coming Monday. However, we should do what we can to help make this winter a safe and worry-free season.
Here are some tips on what you should do to limit your home damage and liability during the winter season.
1. Your steps and sidewalks must be clear of snow, ice, leaves, and other types of debris. You really want to limit any chance of injury in the winter months. I hear so many stories about how people fell walking to their car or on the sidewalk.
2. It is important to remove and clear snow from your roof after a heavy snow storm. Can you image if your roof collapsed? It’s smart to take precaution if you are in situation with heavy snow.
3. Change the air filter every 2-3 months to maintain your home heating system.
4. For those who are lucky enough to have a wood burning fireplace (I do not like electric fireplace mainly because it uses too much gas), you must keep the area around the fireplace clear and always keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Go one step further and teach everyone in the family how to use it.
5. How often do you check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors inside your house ? Make sure they are in all working condition. If you have gas coming into your house, you must install carbon monoxide detectors in your basement and near gas stove.
6. Believe it or not, maintaining your inside temperature above 60 degrees is important. You don’t want to have any frozen pipes in your house. This guideline becomes extremely important for those who travel during winter season. Do not completely turn off your heating just because no one is in the house.
I try my best to follow these 6 tips every winter for my house. It is easy to overlook any one of these tips but I recommend getting into habit of following them every year. Also, you can check your homeowner’s insurance policy to make sure you are covered for any winter related disasters such as roof collapse.