The winter months are upon us again, and this is the time of year when we need to take added precautions to ensure the safety of our families. What steps can you take to make sure that things go smoothly and everyone is safe, warm and happy?
There are some very simple things you can do, so we’ve put together a handful of tips for you.
Install Bright Outdoor Lighting
The biggest problems of the winter months are the weather, and the darkness. Shorter days and longer nights mean that anyone coming to your door will need to be able to see where they are going, for safety as much as anything else.
Check your front, back and side porch lights – you probably didn’t use them during the summer so they may not be working – and consider buying outdoor LED motion sensor lights which come in a range of different styles, and are surprisingly affordable.
With these, anyone approaching will find their way is brightly lit.
Check Your Roof Insulation
You want to be warm and cosy inside the house, too, so when was the last time you checked your insulation? A large quantity of heat in homes is lost through poorly insulated loft areas – heat rises, of course – so make sure you have yours fully covered for the upcoming winter.
If you are expecting very cold weather it might be worthwhile checking the lagging on pipes – especially those outdoors – as frozen water pipes may be something more than just a small inconvenience, and can lead to bigger, more expensive problems.
Keeping Pathways & Drive Clear of Snow
Snow and ice are another problem with winter, and let’s face it, there is nothing we can do about the weather! It is essential that you keep your pathways and drives clear; this will allow you and your family to go to and from the house in safety, and also to get the cars or bikes out of the garage.
Also make sure you clear the path in front of your house – you might want to invest in a powered snow blower for this job as it will make life a lot easier – this can be quite a big purchase so be sure to do extensive research and read plenty of snow blower guides before you buy.
Check Your Roof For Damage
Take a few moments in the daylight to check your roof areas – remember your garage and any outbuildings too – for loose tiles or shingles and other potential areas that may leak.
These can be exaggerated by the cold weather as snow and ice is very heavy and disruptive, leaving you with a large repair bill. Remember, also, to remove heavy snowfall from your roof as quickly as you can, as the weight can damage the fabric of the roof itself.
You can buy, surprisingly cheaply, dedicated snow rakes for this purpose, and they are worth having.
A few further ideas: make sure you have the emergency numbers for your utility providers somewhere you can find them, and keep a torch handy in case of power cuts.
If you are in an area of very heavy snowfall, stock up on food, water and fuel for heating, and check that all your systems are fully operational and in working order, and then settle back and enjoy the winter!