Winter Safety Checklist
Inside Safety Checklist
- Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, if you don’t already have them. Change the batteries yearly. Test each one to ensure it operates properly.
- Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them.
- Know how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
- Inspect the chimney if you have a fireplace or wood stove. Look for obstructions such as bird nests or leaves blocking the flue. Place screen and a chimney cap over the top of the chimney to prevent future problems.
- Clean the chimney to remove any creosote buildup. Scrape the ashes and creosote out of the fireplace or wood stove when finished.
- Check the fireplace or wood stove to ensure it operates properly. Hire a professional to assess the equipment if preferred.
- All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.
Outside Winter Safety
- Trim tree branches hanging over your house, electrical wires or outbuildings. Remove dead and damaged trees and branches.
- Check window wells surrounding basement windows. Remove debris and ensure the window is safe from potential damage. Install special plastic window shields as necessary.
- Clean the roof completely to remove the year’s accumulation of dirt, debris and leaves. Especially in areas with deep snow accumulations, the excess weight may stress the roof. Plus, accumulating organic matter encourages rot to invade your roof. Typically a shovel or broom – even a hose from the ground in some instances – makes short work of the job.
- Inspect the roof during the cleaning process and look for areas where shingles are missing, damaged or otherwise in need of repair. Look for other problems such as soft areas, chimney or vent damage and separating gutters. Hire a professional to perform the inspection and repair work.