Your Family’s Whole-Home Winter Safety & Security Guide

Your Family’s Whole-Home Winter Safety & Security Guide

Crossing off your New Years’ tasks and to-dos? Don’t forget about your home. It’s easy to forget to change smoke detector batteries, clean gutters or change filters. Take time to make sure your home’s prepared for the cold weeks ahead. Not sure where to start? Here are a few must-dos for safety and security in the winter months.

Insulate your windows and doors.

GettyImages-728881151-minLetting cold drifts under your windows and doors only lowers energy savings and efficiency. Seal your windows and doors with weatherstripping, caulk or heavier curtains to keep indoors. Some homeowners add storm windows for durability. There are also easy and cheap options including a door snake to keep air from the bottom of your door and duct tape for older doors that have small creases for air to pass through.

Don’t let water build up in your pipes or faucets.

If water freezes it can cause your pipe to burst and lead to expensive home repairs. Insulate your pipes throughout the home – especially in areas that aren’t heated including basements and attics. And, if you’re expecting freezing temperatures, leave your faucets running just a little to avoid water freezing and bursting the pipes. You can also get a water leak detector that warns you if there’s a leak in your home. Some detectors can also be professionally monitored.

Stay prepared for a power outage.

During winter months, power outages may be frequent and unpredictable. Make sure you have emergency kits, non-perishable foods, working flashlights and batteries. Your heating system may go out, so prepare safe backups including kerosene heaters, non-electric space heaters and candles. It’s also best to get a generator as a temporary backup power source. 

Once the power goes out, unplug home appliances to avoid damaging them if there’s a surge when the power’s back. Keep your phone charged and have a portable backup charger just in case. If you have a home security system, make sure you power backup for your system and equipment to continue to work during an outage. Most systems include a rechargeable backup battery pack.

Be careful of heat sources.

GettyImages-1134633760-min (1)Don’t use your stove, oven or especially an outdoor grill for heat. And never use charcoal grills indoors because they can release carbon monoxide – a poisonous gas. Instead, use electric space heaters that automatically shut off in case you forget. Remember to keep heaters away from flammable objects and only use them as instructed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also advises that if you choose a kerosene heater make sure it’s legal in your area. You’ll need to replace your furnace’s filters and make sure a professional checks your home’s heating annually.

And, if you have a fireplace, remember to have your chimney checked every year. Keep working smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers for safety.

Add extra security around your home.

It gets dark earlier during the winter months. Add smart lights to automatically turn on at dusk and invest in a security system with professional monitoring to always know what’s happening at home when you’re away.

Outdoor security such as the SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro lets you keep an eye on packages after dark can prevent mail theft. Keep your lawn well-kept to avoid giving thieves hiding spots, and add outdoor lights and motion detectors so you’ll always know what’s happening around your home. 

Keep your outdoors safe during snow and ice.

GettyImages-1046040802-minSnow and ice is pretty to look at and a whole lot of fun for the little ones, but it can make it extremely dangerous to step outside your home. Keep ice-melting salt or cat litter. Keep a snow shovel and ice scraper on hand. Before the wintery mix hits, make sure your gutters are free from webs, leaves and other dirt that can damage your foundation over time. 

If you’re preparing your home before or during winter weather be sure to dress in layers from head to toe. Be careful of slippery areas that may cause falls. The Red Cross recommends being mindful of your health as heavy labor in snow and ice can lead to hypothermia and heart attacks.

If there are seniors or elders in your home you may want to consider a medical alert for their safety. These one-press devices tell the difference between slips and falls, and can alert responders for help during emergencies.

Enjoy the winter weather and have fun with your family. Go sledding, get into a snowball fight and make hot cocoa, but stay safe, too. Home safety and security goes beyond the cold months. Schedule reminders to regularly check on your home’s maintenance and stock-up on items. Preventative measures can save time, money and keep your humble abode in tip-top shape.


dashia

Written by

Dashia Starr

Dashia researches and writes on all things home automation and security. She focuses on the latest news, products, and providers to share only the best with you.