Home Safety Tips for Winter

Winter time can be an extremely dangerous time for many obvious reasons. Icy conditions can make it very dangerous to drive while flu and colds are rampant throughout. Lesser thought about dangers can occur in your own home and can lead to unnecessary financial outgoings if not taken care of. Some small simple actions can prepare your home fully for the coming months and the deteriorating weather.

The first port of call is to make sure that your heating system is in full working order. It should be considered to get a professional to look at the system if you are unsure about it. The radiators in the house should be “bled” to free any trapped air within them. This removes any cold spots in the radiator helping them to emit more heat into the rooms that they are located.

Fireplaces and chimneys should also be cleaned, and a Carbon Monoxide alarm placed within the home. During the colder weather fireplaces are used more regularly leaving you more susceptible to Carbon Monoxide contact.

During winter, outside water can freeze and burst exterior pipes. Rather than letting this happen, take precautions to prevent frozen pipes by disconnecting all garden hoses and draining any water left in outdoor spigots. If the temperature will drop below freezing overnight, leave exterior faucets trickling to avoid the pressure build-up that causes burst pipes. You can also avoid frozen and burst pipes inside your house by insulating your home and pipes. Use foam, heating cables, or pipe sleeves, and seal any cracks in your home’s exterior.

Check your roof for damaged, loose, or missing slates that may leak during severe weather. Make sure seals around chimneys and vent stacks are intact as well. If they aren’t, make repairs yourself or hire a professional to repair. Finally, clear all leaves and other debris from your gutters as these can hold moisture over the winter and cause damage if left unattended.

One of the best ways to keep your family and friends safe is to remove ice from footpaths and driveways. Prepare for snow by making sure your driveway is gritted. If it snows, shovel all trafficked areas to remove any danger.

If you have any elderly neighbours, family or friends it may be worth checking their homes are safe and helping them with any preparations for the colder weather. They can be even more vulnerable during these months, so the extra effort is needed for preparation.

Nothing beats having your home ready for the conditions but FBD recommend that you always have a backup plan available in the form of adequate Home Insurance. Don’t take anything to chance. If you are unsure that your Home Insurance covers you for the colder months visit the FBD website or call into your local FBD Office

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