Winter means shorter days, darker mornings and evenings, and inhospitable weather
But there can be something comforting and even enchanting about winter when you're sitting inside by the fireplace, drinking hot chocolate and watching the snow fall outside your window.
This is how winter should be, provided you take the necessary measures to protect your home and family during the cold weather months.
Here are 8 things you can do to have a safe winter season:
1. Get the furnace serviced... before it has to be serviced
There's nothing enjoyable about having the furnace go out in -10 or -15 degree weather. It's not pretty, it's not cool. There will be lots of complaining. Having the furnace serviced by a professional in the early fall, September to October, will ensure your heating system is in good working order, and your family will be warm through the cold months.
2. Make sure the heated blankets are safe to use
Check for kinks in the wires. Make sure that they work when you turn them on. And if they're old and dirty, it might be time to replace them.
3. Check the insulation in your home
This is a big one! If the house isn't insulated properly and the drafts aren't taken care of, the cold air will come in. Make sure the insulation is sufficient to get you through the winter, and any sneaky cold air leaks, like windows, are properly sealed. You won't be letting in the cold air and turning up the thermostat all winter.
4. Stock up on emergency supplies
Look at all the crises happening all over the world. Canada and the U.S. can experience emergency situations too. You need to have emergency supplies in case anything goes wrong. Do you know where your flashlight and spare batteries are? What about non-perishable food items in case the power goes out? Set some things aside as emergency supplies and keep them well stocked.
5. Make sure your cell phone is always charged
Keep it well charged and close to you. Your family and friends might need to get in touch with you in case they're in trouble. Cell phones are often more reliable than landlines in the event of power outages. .
6. Turn off your water
Make sure you've turned off the water and emptied the pipes. Otherwise, when you go back in the spring, the hose will have holes in it because the water froze and expanded if they weren't emptied properly.
7. Turn down the thermostat
If you're lucky enough to go away on vacation during the winter, make sure the home is well insulated and turn down the thermostat to 12 or 13 degrees. You're not wasting power, and the house will be at a temperature that will prevent your inside pipes from freezing.
8. Watch the weather!
This is the easiest and most important tip! If you've been watching the weather, you know what's happening. You can do all of your preparations in advance and you won't be caught off-guard in the event of a big snow storm.
If you have any questions about the tips we've given you today, call us at 905-683-2323. We have offices in Ajax, Toronto, Mississauga, London and Etobicoke. One of our representatives would be happy to answer your questions.
All of us at Bethel Insurance Brokers Inc. hope you have a safe and happy winter season!