Keeping Your Holiday Celebrations Safe at Home
December 14th, 2022
The holiday season is here, and with it, a new list of hazards you will need to prepare for. Depending on where you reside, you can expect a vast amount of snow or sleet or perhaps your home city often experiences power outages.
With the colder months here, indoor fire hazards are also on the rise. Keeping your home and family protected and secure is your top priority, which is why preparedness is crucial for winter. There are steps you can take to ensure your family’s safety this holiday season.
Preparing for a Winter Storm Power Outage
Winter brings many enjoyable things: holidays, family vacations, sledding, and typically snow. Where you live often determines how much (if any) snow you will likely see during the colder months. While beautiful, snow and wind can quickly create a power outage. Moreover, heavy storms are likely to generate power failures and faults for multiple days. Anticipating an upcoming storm, preparing for a disaster, and stocking up with provisions can make all the difference when the power goes out.
Winterizing Your Home
Winterizing your home usually begins in the autumn, while the weather is still fair. While winterizing, be sure to insulate all door and window frames, then inspect your attic for any pieces of insulation that may need to be replaced from the previous year. Next, inspect the roof for any shingles that may need repair or replacement. If your home has a fireplace, check to ensure everything is in working order. A functional fireplace can make a substantial difference with heating when the power is out, but only if the chute has been cleaned and the wood pile has been stocked.
Stocking Your Household Items
In some parts of the world, a severe winter storm may mean being home, possibly without power, for several days. Be sure to stock your pantry with enough non-perishable items to last you and your family for a few days. It may also be wise to purchase some emergency meals, some of which have a shelf life of 7-10 years.
Food, however, is not the only thing you should be stocking up on as a storm approaches. Ensure your family has enough toiletries to last a storm, double-check all your flashlights and emergency battery packs to be sure they are in working order. Purchasing a generator is also advisable if you are able.
Protecting Your Pipes
Water damage is the last thing you want to worry about when it is below freezing outside. Rapidly dropping winter temperatures have been known to cause major damage to residential pipes, such as freezing over, leaking, or bursting. Winterizing your pipes could save you and your wallet from severe strain.
Insulated pipes are far less likely to leak or burst during a freeze or blackout. After you have covered your pipes with insulation, turn off the main water valve. An open main valve in winter temperatures could lead to a burst pipe, which would flood directly into your home. If the main valve shut off is not an option, turning on the water intermittently will also stop the pipes from bursting, as running water does not freeze. Also, be sure to save some water by filling up your bathtub. In case of an emergency snow-in, you will need a backup water supply.
Many of today’s gas station pumps rely on electricity to run. If a storm knocks out the power grid, you may be unable to fill your car’s gas tank. Once you hear a storm is heading your way, it is best to hit the pump and fill up while you can.
Protecting Against Fire Hazards
The majority of house fires happen during the winter months, primarily from December through February. This is mainly due to heating-related accidents, such as malfunctioning heating equipment or an unattended fireplace. Luckily, these helpful hints can help you lower your risk of winter house fires.
Checking Fire Alarms
Fire and carbon monoxide detectors are your first line of defense against out-of-control house fires, making their functionality of the utmost importance. It is not enough to only install fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. You must test them monthly as well.
Having Your Chimney Serviced
As previously mentioned, a clean and functional chimney chute is vital when using an indoor fireplace. Cleaning your chimney may be a job for professionals, as many have been injured from accidental falls off the roof. We recommend you have your chimney serviced annually, clearing blockages before they become a serious fire hazard.
Using Indoor Heating Appliances Safely
Space heaters can be a great way to warm up a drafty room, but they also could easily overload a power outlet, which is why you should never plug more than one heating appliance into a single outlet at a time. Also, while using space heaters, radiators, and fireplaces for warmth, remove all flammable items within 3 feet of the heat source.
If you own a portable generator, keep it as far away from your home’s windows as possible. Generators have been known to cause fires on their own, and the last thing you need is a generator fire spreading immediately throughout your house.
The holidays are a great time to be with loved ones and celebrate the season, which makes preparing for the unexpected all the more critical. Taking steps to ensure your family’s safety and emergency readiness can help put your mind at ease every time snow begins to fall. Winterizing your home is essential, as is protecting it with proper insurance coverage. The professionals at Duliban Insurance prioritize their client’s best interests and work alongside them to cater insurance products that best fit your family’s needs and budget.
If you want to learn more about protecting your home and family with insurance this holiday season, contact the experts at Duliban for your quote today.