4 Steps to Winter Home Protection

Talking about the weather is a favorite past-time. In addition to talking about the weather, now is a good time to prepare for it. There are several weeks each fall when the temperatures are moderate and your home's heating and cooling systems are not needed. This is the time to check out your home's heating system­ before the cold weather arrives. Call a heating contractor to thoroughly inspect and clean the furnace and venting system. If you decide to tackle the job yourself, be sure to follow your furnace manufacturer's instructions.

Attention should also be given to:

  • The Roof: Check the roof for loose or missing slates and shingles. Inspect the chimney for loose bricks, and if you have an antenna make sure it is securely attached. If repairs are needed, find a competent roofer or contractor to do the work.

  • The Yard: Remove leaves and debris from under porches, wooden stairs and window wells; they can be a fire hazard. Keep walkways free of leaves to avoid slipping. Trim dead and broken limbs from trees, clean out and inspect gutters, and pick up broken glass or other debris. If you plan on burning leaves or trash be sure to check with local ordinances. If trash or leaf fires are permitted, they should be kept away from buildings and other flammable materials.

  • Doors and Windows: Inspect doors and windows and, if necessary, recaulk and install new weather stripping.

  • Flashlights and Radio: Power outages can occur during a winter storm. Be prepared by putting fresh batteries in your battery-powered radio and flashlight or lantern.

Planning ahead and taking precautions against winter hardships can help you weather the season in comfort and safety.

Minnesota Safety Council