The Answer Man

5 Tips to Reduce Household Risks This Winter


The winter season can be brutal. Fall is the time to prepare your home for the harsh winter season. Follow these tips to provide a safe winter for yourself and your loved ones, no matter the location:  

Clean Gutters or Install Gutter Guards  

Gutters blocked by leaves and other debris from the Fall result in improper draining and water damage to the roof and siding. The clog can become too heavy, causing the gutter to break off the house. Gutter replacement and repair can be costly. Clean the gutters yourself, or to prevent any injury, hire a contractor.  

Clean Fireplace and Chimney 

Sitting in front of a fireplace during the winter months is comforting. Ash and soot can build up in the chimney, leading to improper ventilation and carbon monoxide poisoning. Cleaning the chimney ensures that the smoke will go out rather than stay inside. Double-check that the chimney’s vent is fully open. Take further precautions with fireplaces, ensuring that nothing flammable is too close. A fireguard will also add more protection for young family members or pets.  

As another precaution, make sure fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are correctly working. Ideally, test these alarms once a month.  

Clear Up Space Around Radiators 

If your home has radiators or baseboard heating, establish that nothing stops them from receiving the most heat possible. Don’t place objects on top of radiators, and check that nothing is inside them. Anything too close to the radiators can cause fires. Keep a close eye on children and pets when radiators are operating.  

Sometimes heat is lost through the wall. Prevent this by placing aluminum foil behind the radiators to reflect heat into the room. 

Insulate Pipes 

Living in an area prone to freezing temperatures means your home’s pipes may freeze and burst, resulting in costly destruction and water damage. Insulating pipes with a foam wrap can reduce the risk. If water sits still in the lines for too long, it’s more prone to freezing and expanding in the pipes, causing them to burst. Try to keep water moving, if possible, by leaving a few faucets running.  

If you plan on leaving for vacation, turn off the main water supply to the house to reduce any further chance of flooding. 

Prepare for Winter Storms 

It’s better to be safe than sorry. Winter storms can leave you trapped at home without power for days at a time. Keeping emergency kits in the house and car can help in any circumstance. These kits should consist of first aid, blankets, enough water per person to last three days, and some sort of light source. Flashlights or candles come in handy if you lose power. Make sure to have extra batteries for the flashlights.  

Buying a generator is a good investment if you live in an area with frequent winter storms and power outages. Generators will give the house power. It’s essential to have enough fuel to last a few days. Follow generator safety guidelines to guarantee the safety of your family. 

If you need any materials or supplies to help prepare your home for the winter, come visit us at C&C Farm and Home at our Lebanon or Bolivar store!