We’ve said goodbye to summer, are in the midst of fall, and preparing for winter. What should you be doing to keep your house as safe as possible?
Our top five tips:
Your yard is likely already filled with fallen leaves. Beautiful for a while, these leaves—as well as overgrown bushes and trees, and loose furniture and toys—can become a home security hazard during strong storms. Keep bushes and trees trimmed, and rake leaves and dispose of them according to your city and state refuse regulations.
Service your furnace
Now is the best time to make sure your heating (and cooling) systems are in proper working order. You’ve likely been running your air conditioner all summer, and now you’ll be switching to heat. Have someone clean it out and check for dirty filters and cracked pipes. This will help reduce your energy bills and the likelihood of losing heat in the middle of winter.
Check your detectors
Check that your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors are working properly: change and test all batteries so you know they work, and if you can get fire monitoring protection for your home as well, do it! These home security extras save lives and reduce the risk of damage.
Soon we’ll be looking out at ice and snow, so make sure you have shovels, ice melt, ice scrapers, and other winter safety items are ready to go at home and in your car.
Prepare emergency kits
Wherever you live, late fall and winter storms can knock out power, make you lose phone service, or even leave you housebound. If you don’t already have one, prepare an emergency kit. Make sure you have enough food and clean water to last everyone in your home—pets included—several days. Keep extra flashlights and batteries on hand, and if you use any medication, be sure to have a week’s supply in store, just in case.