Last month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its winter outlook, which calls for a cooler and wetter than usual winter for the northern United States. As winter moves closer by the day, prepare your home now for tomorrow’s bitter cold.
Take extra steps to protect yourself and your family from the hazards that come with cold weather. You can start by:
- Cleaning and inspecting your heating equipment;
- Insulating walls, attics and water pipes, and caulking and weather stripping doors and windows;
- Installing storm windows or covering your windows with plastic;
- Clearing rain gutters;
- Checking your roof to be sure it can handle the extra weight of snow and ice; and
- Installing battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, home fires occur more often in winter than any other season. Protect your home by:
- Always using a metal or heat-tempered glass screen when using your fireplace;
- Making sure your space heater has an automatic shut off (if it tips over, it shuts off); and
- Keeping snow and ice three feet away from fire hydrants to allow access in case of a fire.
The snow may seem harmless, but colder weather can be deceptively dangerous. Do not get caught in the cold. Make sure that your home and family prepare for severe winter weather. To learn more, visit www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/winter.html and https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather.