As important as it is to keep yourself safe on the roads, the same goes towards keeping yourself safe at home. Winter storms and dangerously low temperatures will put increased stress on your house, and come with the additional risk of power outages that could cut off your heat supply if you aren’t careful. The best time to prepare for the worst is before it ever happens, and we’ve put together a list of tips to help make sure that you aren’t left out in the cold this winter.
- Prepare Your Home For The Cold: This includes installing storm windows, extra insulation and weather stripping throughout your house. Insulating your water lines that run along or are nearby exterior walls can help prevent those pipes from freezing, and repairing any roof leaks can make sure your home isn’t unnecessarily losing heat. Cleaning out your gutters will also go a long way to making sure that you don’t face problems with chunks of ice raining down on your head as you leave your home.
- Check Your Heating Systems: Call in a professional to fully service your heating system in order to ensure that it’s properly ventilated to the outside, in working order and completely clean. If you have a chimney and fireplace, make sure to inspect it and make sure it’s clean, and make sure to inspect your smoke detectors and replace their batteries if necessary.
- Stock Up On Firewood: If you have a fireplace, be sure to keep a healthy supply of firewood in your home or in an easily accessible and dry location. If you ever lose power, starting up a crackling fire can keep you and your family warm, no matter how long it takes the electric company to fix the problem.
- Install Or Service Your CO Detector: CO, or carbon monoxide, is a deadly, colorless and odorless gas, so it’s important to make sure that your existing CO detector is in perfect working order. If you don’t have one installed, be sure to install one this winter, and learn the symptoms associated with CO poisoning: confusion, chest pain, vomiting, upset stomach, weakness, dizziness and headaches.
- Properly Prepare and Handle Your Leftovers: Leftovers are arguably the best part about any holiday meal, but you need to take extra care to ensure that you don’t accidentally get your family and loved ones sick with a food-related illness. Cook all food to the proper temperature before serving, and don’t let it sit around on the counter for too long before you wrap it up and put it in your refrigerator. Perishable food can last for up to two hours, but that’s not a limit you want to risk testing.
- Take Care When Decorating: Holiday decorations can turn even the drabbest of rooms into a festive wonderland, but you don’t want to spoil the mood by injuring yourself while awkwardly perching on the back of your favorite armchair. Instead, make sure to have a step stool or ladder at the ready – when using a ladder, make sure to have a second person around to stabilize the base.
- Be Careful Around Open Flames: Residential fires are worryingly common during the winter months, so make sure to keep all candles safely away from your pets, children, walkways, trees, curtains, plants, etc. Never leave anything that’s burning unattended for any lengthy amount of time, including a fire burning in your fireplace.
Keeping your home safe during the holidays is vital to keeping everyone’s attentions on the festivities, but sometimes tragedy can strike and you need to seek legal assistance. At Levinson Axelrod, P.A., our New Jersey attorneys are committed to providing injured victims with the experienced representation they need to secure the compensation they deserve. Give us a call at (732) 440-3089 to speak with a member of our firm, of fill out our online form to get started with a free case evaluation today.