How to Stay Safe and Healthy This Winter
Winter can get the better of us if we’re not prepared for freezing weather and snow storms. The hazards of winter can affect you whether you’re at home, outdoors or driving. Plan ahead to keep yourself and your home safe during winter with these tips:
Preparedness At Home
- Winterize Doors and Windows – Seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors with weather stripping and caulk. Put draft snakes around windows to stop cold air from entering the home.
- Insulate Air Ducts – About 20 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost if the ducts are poorly sealed. Ensure your ducts properly sealed and insulated.
- Clean the Gutters – Doing this task regularly prevents water from leaking onto your home. During freezing temperatures, having clean gutters also helps prevent ice dams. Also ensure that gutters and downspouts aren’t worn or damaged.
- Maintain the Heating System – Make sure your heating system, wood stove or fireplace are clean, working properly, and ventilated to the outside. Have your heating system and chimneys inspected and cleaned by a professional every year.
- Use Space Heaters Safely – Plug heaters directly into wall outlets and don’t plug any other electrical device into the same outlet. Always supervise heaters while operating.
- Test Your Smoke and CO Alarms – Make sure the smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home are working well. Test the alarms monthly and replace batteries twice a year.
Staying Safe Outside
- Dress Appropriately – Wear cold weather clothing such as tightly woven coats or jackets, inner layers of light clothing, as well as mittens, hats, scarves, and waterproof boots.
- Avoid Slipping on Ice – Sprinkle cat litter or sand on icy patches around your home to prevent slipping on ice.
- Work Smart – Take it slow when doing outside chores such as shoveling snow. Check out more tips to shovel snow safely.
Prepping Your Car
- Install Fresh Coolant – Keep your engine coolant level in the right proportion before temperatures drop. Check your car owner’s manual to learn the proper way to change the antifreeze.
- Check the Tires – Make sure your tires are not worn, are properly inflated, and have enough tread. Use all-weather tires or snow tires.
- Watch the Fuel Gauge – Keep your gas tank at least half-full to prevent fuel line freeze-up. Make sure to fill your gas tank before parking the car for a lengthy period.
- Check the Windshield Wipers – Replace those that are worn or hardened. Use windshield wiper fluid that has antifreeze in it. Keep an ample supply of windshield washer fluid in your car.
- Have a Car Emergency Kit for Winter – Include at least a flashlight, blanket, snow/ice scraper, and sand or salt. Check out more tips for creating a winter car emergency kit.
For more tips to prepare your home for winter, check out how to prevent home mold growth in winter and how to prevent winter water damage in your home. For emergency flood repair and water removal services, contact your local PuroClean office.