The winter weather can create new hazards around your home that are worth guarding against. Certain accidents can become more common, but by taking protective measures you can reduce the risk of them occurring. Below are just a few protective measures to take around your home to keep your household safe this winter.
Take steps to prevent snow and ice on your driveway
Driveways can become slippery in the winter because of snow and ice. This could increase the risk of injuries due to falls — particularly if you or one of your family has mobility issues. By shoveling or snowblowing away snow and laying down grit you can prevent such injuries. For thick snow, you may want to hire a snow removal service.
If you can, help out your neighbors by clearing their snow if they are not as mobile as you are. And always clear sidewalks so people can get around during the winter.
Check your carbon monoxide monitor
With more frequent heating usage in the winter, carbon monoxide leaks are more common. Carbon monoxide is deadly if breathed in for too long and it is impossible to detect without a carbon monoxide monitor. Make sure that you have carbon monoxide monitors in your home and that it is working properly.
Be careful when using space heaters
Space heaters can be handy for heating up spaces without having to use central heating, but you need to be careful about how and where you use them. If a space heater is too close to a flammable object — which could include anything from a bottle of deodorant to a curtain — it could start a fire. Therefore you need to be careful about where to position these heaters.
Also, make sure that they’re somewhere stable so that they don’t fall over and catch alight to something. Many modern space heaters automatically turn off if they fall over and have other safety features to prevent a fire breaking out; however, you should still use them with caution and never leave them unattended.
Clean out your fireplace and chimney
If your home has a working fireplace and chimney, it’s important to make sure that this is regularly cleaned out. Dirty chimneys and dirty fireplaces are a common source of home fires. You may be able to clean out the fireplace yourself; however, you’ll likely need to hire a chimney-sweeping service to clean out the chimney.
Another place to clean is your dryer vents, which can also become a fire hazard.
Keep your home well ventilated
Many of us shut all the windows during the cooler months to prevent heat escaping. While this is an effective way to keep your home warm, it may prevent your home from getting ventilated. This makes it easier for toxins such as radon, mold spores, VOCs and carbon monoxide to build up in your home’s air. Extractor fans and HVAC systems with in-built ventilation can be a great way to keep your air cleaner. Consider whether you need to install extractor fans around your home or whether you need to upgrade your HVAC system.
How are you preparing for winter?