Whether you love or hate winter, you should always be prepared. Extreme winter conditions can suddenly become unsafe—from dangerously cold temperatures to power outages, icy roads, and more. It is important to understand the risks associated with winter and what to do in case of emergency.
Here are our 8 essential tips to staying safe and secure during severe winter weather:
1. Warm Your Car Outside
Never, ever warm up your vehicle inside the garage—even if the garage door is open. Letting a car idle in a confined space can expose you to carbon monoxide and other harmful gases.
2. Winterize Your Pipes
Insulate your pipes with foam, heating cables, or pipe sleeves to ensure your pipes do not freeze during bouts of cold weather. You can also let cold water drip from your indoor faucets—the constant flow of water will make freezing less likely to happen.
For the ultimate protection, have Strauss install water sensors in the basement, under your sink, by your dishwasher, or any other areas that are high-risk for potential flooding. If I pipe does burst, a water sensor will alert you the moment it gets wet, potentially saving you from massive flooding and costly repairs.
3. Take Care of Your Furnace
Your furnace should be inspected and cleaned annually to ensure the heating system is functioning properly and efficiently. You should also replace the filter more often during the winter months. Doing this will prevent untimely system breakdowns and costly repairs, as well as improve the air quality in your home.
4. Get Monitored Carbon Monoxide Detectors
CO is an odorless, colorless, and deadly gas that is produced when gasoline, natural gas, propane, kerosene, and other fuels are not completely burned during use. Nearly half of all accidental carbon monoxide deaths occur in January, February, and March due to the colder weather.
One of the best safety precautions you can take is to have a monitored carbon monoxide detector installed by a professional alarm monitoring company, like Strauss Security Solutions. Our 24/7 alarm monitoring center sets notifications on your carbon monoxide detector to provide you peace of mind. If carbon monoxide is detected, a signal will be sent to our 24-hour alarm monitoring station. We can call 911 before you may be even able to notice its effects.
5. Have an Emergency Kit
Whether you get snowed in or the power goes out, it is important to have an emergency kit specifically for winter weather. Your kit should include things like flashlights, batteries, a two-way radio, warm clothes, blankets, non-perishable food, bottled water, and a generator.
If you do lose power at any point in time, know that your home security system will still keep you safe and protected. All of our systems are installed with a battery backup that will last anywhere from 2-6 hours and up to 24 hours with an extended battery.
6. Keep Your Driveway and Sidewalks Clear
Be very wary of ice and snow on your walkways. Slipping and falling could severely injure you or someone else. Try to shovel every few hours during a snowstorm so you only have to shovel a few inches at a time. Also, use ice melt or salt to keep sideways and driveways clear of slippery ice.
7. Avoid Icy Gutters
Before the snow falls, make sure that your gutters are clear of leaves and other debris. Clogged gutters can cause water and ice to build up and damage your roof or home. If at any point during winter you spot larger icicles forming from your gutters, that is the first indication of a problem.
8. Maintain Your Home Security Equipment
When removing snow outside, do not forget about your security equipment. Buildup of snow, ice, or dirt can block the view of your outdoor security cameras. Please be careful doing so, and if you need a hand, call Strauss Security and we will send a technician out to clean them for you.
Please be safe and prepared for dangerous winter weather! And for extra security, contact Strauss Security Solutions today and learn more about what a home security system can do for you.