Seeing your home blanketed with perfectly white fluffy snow as you peer out your window from the warmth of your home makes the winter weather seem peaceful. However, while you may feel safe from the blizzards outside, you’ll want to make sure winter home hazards are avoided at all cost. Homes in the winter have been known to be at risk for fires and floods.
While the crackling fire in a fireplace is cozy and picturesque, it is also a fire hazard, especially when there is a problem with the chimney. Chimneys are designed to make sure that smoke and gas from the fire rises through the chimney and outside, rather than into your home. Make sure your flue is open before you start a fire and that the chimney has been cleaned. Chimney cleanings should happen at least once a year to prevent chimney fires. Signs of a chimney fire include loud popping sounds, dense smoke, and hot smells.
Space heaters can seem like small godsends during the cold months when you want to keep your budget from heating the whole house. They warm up the rooms they are in, but can be dangerous if they are not positioned correctly. Read the directions and warnings on the label of a space heater before you use it. Most heaters will warn you not to position the device in front of foot traffic, curtains, or other flammable materials. It’s also important to turn the heater off once you’ve left the room. Not heeding these warnings could result in a fire.
The fall and winter feature many glorious smells such as fresh snow, pine, and holiday treats. Most candle companies have bottled these scents for their customer’s delight so they can smell pumpkin spice and cranberry all season long. However, while these candles cast a beautiful glow and produce a delicious scent, they can still be winter home hazards. Unattended candles lead to 10,000 residential fires in the U.S. each year. If a candle is lit in a room no one is in, blow it out. Be sure to also blow it out if you are going to bed or if you are leaving the house.
Having a pool and green yard is fun in the summer, but in the winter it’s time to drain the pool and sprinkler system. When your pipes get cold, they’ll expand and burst, leaving you to clean up and pay for the mess. Insulating your pipes and keeping your water heater at a minimum of 55 degrees can help you avoid this problem. You should also leave a faucet in your home slightly open. This is so that air and water can escape rather than building pressure in the pipes.
The snow that gathers on your roof has a habit of melting and running under thick blankets of snow that has been piling on your shingles. Snowmelt runs to the end of the roof where, once it is once again met with cold air, it freezes again. This builds up over time. This buildup is called ice damming and pries up shingles, letting water leak into your home and damage your roof. A snow roof rake can help solve this problem, as well as repairing any broken or missing shingles on your roof before the snow hits.
Being prepared can is always beneficial but in the case of a disaster, ARS Flood and Fire Cleanup are available to help. Having a company to repair and restore your home can help you once again enjoy the season and feel safe.