Now that winter is here and you’re spending more time indoors, you need to make sure that your home is safe and healthy for these colder months. That will mean keeping your home warm and comfortable for your family, but it will also mean eliminating some of the more obvious safety hazards that pop up in colder weather. Here are a few tips that will help you with that.
Keep Your Walkway and Driveway Clear
Unless you’re ridiculously cautious and sure-footed, you’ve probably slipped and fallen on an icy sidewalk or driveway. If you want to keep this from happening on your own property, keep your walkway and driveway clear of ice and snow. Shovel after every significant snowfall so the snow doesn’t get packed down, and apply some sidewalk salt if your walkways get particularly icy.
Humidify Your Home
The air gets very dry in the winter, and that can make things uncomfortable for everyone in your home. If you haven’t installed a whole-home humidifier, consider doing so. If you live in a smaller space or only really need to humidify one room, you can also buy a smaller humidifier at any department store. It can cut down on painfully dry skin and all of the other issues associated with a lack of humidity. Just be careful about raising the humidity higher than 50 percent since dust mites and mold will thrive in more humid environments.
Take Care of Your Roof
Your roof is especially vulnerable in the winter, so you’ll want to make sure it’s in good shape before the snow starts to fall. Try to schedule a roof inspection before the weather gets too harsh, and clear any excess snow off the roof with a roof rake. Doing so can help prevent ice dams and leaks, and it might prevent any catastrophic collapses if there is a particularly heavy snowstorm.
Open a Window
You might want to save this for warmer days, but you should open a few windows for about 10 minutes a day or so to air out your home. Otherwise, you’re basically breathing recycled air all the time, which isn’t good if you have allergies or any respiratory infections.
Prepare for an Outage
Power outages can happen at any time of the year, but they are especially dangerous in the winter. It’s always good to invest in a generator in case you lose power in your home, but if you don’t want to invest in one, you should at least have a battery-powered radio, plenty of warm clothes and blankets, candles, a cell phone with a charged battery, and plenty of non-perishable foods. You will need them if you lose power in a bad snowstorm and cannot leave your home.
Keep Carpets Clean
Carpets can harbor dirt and allergens that can be hazardous to your health. Regular vacuuming is important to minimize the dirt tracked in during the winter months. Schedule regular professional carpet cleaning during these months when you are spending more time indoors.