The seasons are changing and as the days get shorter, it’s time to ready your home for the coming winter season. These seven winter safety tips will help you stay warm and safe.
Winter Home Safety Guide
Winter safety tips
1. Winterize your pipes
Use foam, heating cables, or pipe sleeves to ensure pipes stay warm enough, and seal any cracks in your home’s exterior.
During the winter, outside water can freeze and burst exterior pipes. Take precautions to prevent frozen pipes by disconnecting all garden hoses and draining any water left in outdoor spigots. If you have an automatic sprinkler system, drain it as well.
If temperatures will drop below freezing overnight, leave exterior faucets trickling to avoid the pressure buildup that causes burst pipes. You can also avoid frozen and burst pipes inside your house by insulating your home and pipes.
2. Inspect your roof
Before the first snowfall, check your roof for damaged, loose, or missing shingles that may leak when snow melts or during severe storms. Make sure seals around chimneys and vent stacks are intact as well. If they aren’t, you can make repairs yourself or hire a handyman.
Regularly clear your roof of snow this season. And remove all leaves, pine needles, and other roof debris as these can hold moisture and rot during winter weather if left unattended.
As the temperatures drop this season, it’s also smart to double-check your homeowners insurance coverage regarding roof repair, water damage, and other risks associated with bad weather.
3. Prepare for power outages
Heavy snow and ice can take down power lines and leave you in the cold and dark. To prepare for power outages, invest in a two-way radio for news concerning the power outage—look for one that uses solar power, batteries, or a hand crank. A hand-crank or solar-powered cellphone charger can keep you in touch with family, friends, and neighbors until the storm passes.
Winter brings increased risk for carbon monoxide poisoning via dangerous habits like warming your car in the garage, heating your home with a gas range, and improper home ventilation when using a gas-powered appliance like a generator.
4. Repair outdoor lighting
Winter days are short, which means you spend more time in the dark. Maintain a well-lit path to your home by ensuring outdoor lights work and fixtures are firmly secured.
5. Prevent icicles and ice dams
Icicles look enchanting, but they present risk of injury and ice dams—which damage the outside of your home and cause meltwater to get inside. Ice dams occur when there are air leaks in your home or inadequate insulation in your attic.
If you already have icicles on your home, there’s no need to be a hero. Hiring a professional to remove them is the safest route. If you do attempt DIY removal, wear a hardhat and safety glasses, and always warn children to avoid icicles.
6. Keep your driveway and walkways clear
During winter weather conditions, remove snow and ice from sidewalks and driveways. Prepare for snow by stocking up on winter tools like snow shovels and giving your snowblower or plow a tune-up.
After it snows, immediately plow or shovel all trafficked areas. If you go the shoveling route, invest in an ergonomic handle, lift with your legs (not your back), and push snow rather than lift it. Take frequent breaks away from the wind chill to let your body warm up and your muscles relax.
Follow up with ice melt or rock salt on steps and walkways to prevent ice buildup. Always wear protective clothing like gloves and hats to prevent frostbite.
7. Fight germs
Illnesses thrive in winter months, and being cooped up inside makes everyone more susceptible to viruses and bacteria. Keep your family safe by going on the offense against germs and letting in fresh air whenever possible. Keep your house a little cooler so the environment is less friendly for viruses—drop the thermostat by five degrees and use a humidifier.
The winter season brings cold weather and long nights. You can’t keep it from coming, but with these home winter safety tips you’re set to stay safe and enjoy this winter like a pro.
Related articles on SafeWise
*Amazon.com list price as of post date. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.
Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.
Compare the top home safety products
|Best smoke and CO detector||$119.00||Battery-powered and wired options||Speaks to you||View on Google Store||Read review|
|Best fire extinguisher||$65.00||ABC fires|
|Firefighter recommended||View on Amazon||Read review|
|Best emergency kit||$165.00||Sustains 2 people for 3 days||Sleeping bags|
|View on Amazon||Read review|
|Best radon detector||$179.99||Battery-powered|
|Results in 24 hours||View on Amazon||Read review|
|Best gas leak detector||$145.41||18-inch probe||Detects 18 gases||View on Amazon||Read review|
|Best water leak sensor||$80.00||-30°F to 150°F||Connects to Wi-Fi||View on Amazon||Read review|
|Best portable generator||$2,679.95||1,800 watts||Runs for up 8.1 hours||View on Amazon||Read review|
|Best fire escape ladder||$67.16||Holds up to 1,000 lbs||Deploys quickly||View on Amazon||Read review|
Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. SafeWise uses paid Amazon links.
†Google and Google Nest Secure are trademarks of Google LLC.