Cold Weather Safety Tips
It’s hard to believe it’s almost the end of 2018, but here we are, halfway through autumn and fast approaching winter. When the weather changes, especially from warm to cold, there are many safety protocols that need refreshing for our homes. As your friendly neighborhood insurance agency, we wanted to bring you a few reminders to make sure you stay cozy and safe in the cold months.
Due to their small size, people generally forget about them or underestimate their ability to do serious damage, but space heaters are a huge culprit of fire. They use a lot of electricity and can easily overload circuits causing power failure or worse.
When you get your space heater out this fall, before you plug it in, check for frays in the cords. If there are any, get a new one right away. Plug space heaters directly into the wall; never into an extension cord or power strip. If you aren’t in the room, the space heater should be turned off and unplugged—no exceptions!
Get your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional before you use it the first time each season. House fires can start from fuel chemical build-up on the interior of your chimney. Make sure your fire extinguisher is up-to-date and close by your fireplace. If you have more than one fireplace, each should have its own extinguisher.
Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
Speaking of fires, check the batteries in your smoke and CO detectors! If you don’t have a CO detector, invest in one! Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, tasteless and deadly. Prevent the risk of CO poisoning by getting a detector and never leaving any kind of motor running in an enclosed space like a garage or basement.
Fall or Slip Prevention
The wet weather, freezing conditions, and socked feet increase slip-and-fall risks both inside and out in the fall and winter. Outside, wear shoes with good traction, use salt preventatively and if it doesn’t look safe, just stay inside! Inside, use non-slip rugs on slick surfaces, especially near doors.
Dryer Lint Traps
In the cold weather, dryers become a bigger threat. The cold weather makes the dry air a hub of static electricity, and in the case of dryers, this heightens the potential for a spark to the dryer lint. You can call a professional to clean out your ducts before the cold sets in, or you can find DIY kits and methods online.
Never sleep under an electric blanket, and don’t leave it plugged in if you’re not using it. Unattended, electric blankets pose a thread of overheating, shock or frayed wiring—any of which may cause a fire.
When it comes to personal and home safety, common sense is your greatest tool. If something seems dangerous or unsafe, it probably is. Take precautions early so that when the cold settles, you can happily enjoy cozy nights in with family and your favorite chilly traditions!