You want your home to have a cozy feeling all winter long. However, you are worried about the recent rash of break-ins in your neighborhood, and your gutters seem to be clogged with ice. All of these little troubles can add up making your home less safe and making it a bother rather than a place of relaxation during the winter months. What can you do to keep your home safe and secure this fall and winter?
Examine Your Sight Lines
During the fall and winter, the sight lines around your home change as the leaves fall. However, snow can also pile up, changing your ability to see people approaching your home. As the weather changes, do the following to keep your home safe:
- Clean out shrubs and make sure that you have sight lines from your home even when it snows.
- Tidy up after fall cleaning. Put away ladders and make sure that nothing obstructs your view.
- Consider installing motion-sensitive lights or security devices in areas that are difficult to see, to scare away potential thieves.
Look to the Lighting
Lighting is important as the days grow longer. It’s not only important for your physical safety so that you don’t trip and fall in the dark, it’s also important because darkness can make it easier to break into your home.
Add lights to pathways, stairs, and the front porch. Make sure that these lights come on when it gets dark so that you don’t need to struggle along a path to the dark front door to turn the lights on. According to the National Center for Environmental Health, time switch lights “make your home a less desirable target for thieves in the event that you’re out late. The lights will come on automatically so that thieves won’t have a cover of darkness to operate under.”
Keep An Eye Out for Winter Hazards
As you move into the winter season, you need to winter-proof your home. If you don’t manage your home well in the fall, then winter can take a large toll on your property, leaving you with a lot of items on your to-do list come spring. What do you need to do to prevent serious maintenance problems that could impact the safety of your home this winter?
- Check railings and staircases for rot.
- Make sure that pathways and stairways are not slippery. Add treads to stairs if necessary.
- Clear up areas where water pools or puddles form, either by planting there, recontouring the landscaping, or adding drainage elements, such as topping your gutters with a gutter cover to prevent them from spilling over.
- Prune problem branches that could fall on your home during a fall or winter wind or snow storm.
- Wrap pipes and turn off the outdoor water to prevent leaks and damage to your home.
- Prepare the inside of your home for winter heating. You should clean the furnace, fireplace, and chimneys, and according to the CDC, you should “install a CO detector to alert you of the presence of the deadly, odorless, colorless gas. Check batteries when you change your clocks in the fall and spring.”
- Make sure that you have alternatives prepared in case a winter storm knocks the power out. This could include a backup generator, food storage, and warm blankets and clothing.
At Harry Helmet, we want your home to be safe, secure, and well-maintained. Make maintenance easier by installing a gutter cover or gutter heat system this year. Contact us to schedule a free estimate today.