Winter Home Maintenance and Fire Safety

Winter Home Maintenance and Fire Safety

Before the cold weather months roll around and you want nothing more than to cozy up indoors, make sure you tackle your cold weather home maintenance. Typically, experienced homeowners know to drain their outdoor water lines & shut offs, check smoke detectors and update furnace filters. There is no better way to keep up on those maintenance items and create a safe home environment than a seasonal maintenance checklist.

Here are a few items we recommend you add to your cold weather maintenance schedul

Water/Snow

  • Clear out all exterior water lines and faucets. Ensuring they are drained of all water and shut off before the first frost can prevent water damage.
  •  Any leftover fall debris, such as leaves, can clog your gutters. Ensuring your gutters are clear and free of debris will allow proper flow. A buildup of snow or ice can create ice damming resulting in water damage or icicles that can be harmful. There are many local gutter cleaning services available and even guards you can purchase to block debris from entering your gutters.
  •  After a major snowfall, the accumulation of snow can block your exterior exhausts. These blockages can cause fumes and carbon monoxide to be forced back into your home.
  • Proper snow clearing is essential for home maintenance and your safety. Make it a habit to move snow away from your home to prevent water damage, and apply salt or sand to any slippery spots.

Fire/Heating

  • Before you fire up your furnace or heating appliance, we recommend having the unit serviced by a professional . Inspecting your heating appliances annually is a great way to ensure everything is in working order and prolong the lifespan.
  • Furnace filters catch many airborne allergens and prevent bacteria, mold spores and dust from circulating in your home. Create an appropriate schedule to update your furnace filter regularly.
  • Fire safety can often seem like a burden. We all know someone who has pulled down their smoke alarm after they burnt a batch of cookies. A faulty smoke detector is the cause of over 50% of deaths due to a house fire. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly and change the batteries when you change your clocks.
  • We all love the look and sound of a wood burning stove or fireplace. When used properly, wood burning is safe. Clearing your chimney and disposing of your ashes appropriately is required to maintain safety. Be sure to have your fireplace and chimney serviced before the first use of the season. The chimney must be clear of debris to operate safely.
  • Your wood burning appliance must meet all the required clearances and be free and clear of any combustible materials. For safety sake, choose noncombustible flooring and surround for your fireplace.
  • You might be surprised to know the number one cause of house fires is not wood burning appliances but cooking appliances. With our fast-paced lives, we tend to multi task and leave items on the stove or in the oven unattended. There should always be someone in the kitchen while cooking.
  • If you have cold rooms in your home that require extra warmth, a space heater is often a great option. When using additional heaters, make sure you aren’t overloading your homes electrical capacity. Electrical fires often catch families off guard and can travel through the walls of your home resulting in extensive damage.

Even with all of your best efforts to maintain a safe home environment, accidents do happen. Your insurance policy is here to respond in the event of an insurable loss and your broker is here to guide you along the way. Now is a great time to create or review your home inventory. Taking photos of the rooms in your home will assist in confirming what items you own in the event of a loss.

Although we are not the home maintenance experts, we are the insurance experts and want to assist you in avoiding any losses. If you have any questions, reach out to your maintenance, furnace, and woodstove experts to feel confident you’re protected your home.

 

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