It’s not enough that you have to shovel snow from the driveway and make sure the kids don’t forget to wear their gloves. You also have to worry about maintaining a cozy and functioning house. From pipes freezing over to space heaters catching fire, you’re wondering if this winter wonderland is worth it.
With these safety tips, your home will be safe and warm this winter (and you’ll be stress-free) in no time.
Pipes Freezing Over
As soon as the temperature drops below freezing, you start worrying about the effect of snow and ice on your house. At the top of the list, freezing pipes can create massive damage to your personal items and your home. This happens when leftover water in your pipes freezes and expands, causing the pipes to burst.
You’re left with an inconvenient water situation and pricey repair work. If you have an older house, pipes may run in the exterior walls. If they’re not already insulated, make sure to properly insulate your pipes. If your sink is on an exterior wall, you might want to open the cabinets underneath it to let in heat from the house to warm up the pipes. You can also leave a trickle of water running. This prevents any stagnant moisture from turning into ice.
If you water your front or back yard using a spigot and sprinklers, you’ll want to make sure there’s no water out there that might freeze and expand. If you have a burst-proof spigot installed, you don’t have to worry about this.
For all the times you’ll be away from home, installing freeze and flood sensors is recommended. You can get notification right to your phone when the temperature gets to be too low. You can avoid a catastrophe by checking on the pipes and taking precautions.
Space Heater Catching Fire
You’ve probably heard of all the stories about the combustibility of space heaters. It’s a much safer bet to install a permanent system in your house. But, for those hard to heat rooms, make sure to purchase a heater that’s the right size. One that’s too large can lead to unhealthy air quality. You’ll want to look for one with a safety certification and tip-over/overheat protection.
Plug the space heater directly into a wall and don’t put anything next to it. Before you fall asleep each night and before you leave the house, shut off the space heater. Some space heaters come with timers that auto shut off the unit after a certain time. This not only helps you conserve energy and lower your utility bills, but also removes any risk of a fire.
Placing smoke and fire detectors throughout your house can help alert sleeping household members and dispatch firefighters. Find out how many your house needs by taking this quick assessment.
Power Going Out
When ice collects on the power lines, weighed-down power lines touch each other. This results in a power outage in neighborhoods just like yours. Since Indianapolis doesn’t bury its power lines (like Germany does), make sure your security system has a battery backup so that it can last a few days without power. This way, you’re not a target of theft during a storm-related blackout.
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