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How can I keep my home safe during winter?

Dr. Jeanne D. Johnson, MD
Family Practitioner

Prepare your home for ice, snow and other winter conditions now by:

  • insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic to repel moisture
  • clearing rain gutters, repairing roof leaks, and removing tree branches that might fall on your home
  • keeping alternative heating fuel and equipment at hand to heat at least one room when power is out
  • setting aside a winter emergency supply kit that includes a weather radio and batteries, non-perishable food, water, extra blankets and prescriptions

Take these steps to keep your home safe and warm during the winter months.

Winterize your home.

  • Install weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows.
  • Insulate water lines that run along exterior walls.
  • Clean out gutters and repair roof leaks.

Check your heating systems.

  • Have your heating system serviced professionally to make sure that it is clean, working properly and ventilated to the outside.
  • Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys.
  • Install a smoke detector. Test batteries monthly.
  • Have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.
  • Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) emergencies. Install a CO detector to alert you of the presence of the deadly, odorless, colorless gas. Learn symptoms of CO poisoning: headaches, nausea, and disorientation. Keep grills and generators out of the house and garage. Position generators at least 20 feet from the house.

Be prepared for weather-related emergencies, including power outages.

  • Stock food that needs no cooking or refrigeration and water stored in clean containers.
  • Keep an up-to-date emergency kit, including: battery-operated devices, such as a flashlight, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio, and lamps; extra batteries; first-aid kit and extra medicine; baby items; and cat litter or sand for icy walkways.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.