Don't let those warm Norman Rockwell images of winter fool you. If you’ve ever been caught without power, or spun around on icy roads with kids in the car, or suffered a fire from a space heater, you know winter isn’t always a wonderland. Extreme cold and winter storms can be a real pain for you and your family, especially if you’re not prepared.
That's where we come in, with advice and coverages to keep you, and yours — not to mention your belongings — snug this winter.
Check your insulation and plumbing. Plumbing is especially susceptible to cold weather, and so are your heating bills if your house isn't properly insulated. For starters, make sure exterior faucets have their water supply turned off from the inside. Exposed pipes in uninsulated spaces like crawlspaces, attic, or on outside walls should be wrapped with electrical heating tape, and then insulated with foam. Rope caulk is an inexpensive and quick fix for drafty windows, as is weather-stripping for leaky doors.
Hey, you! Check the flue! Even if the power is still on and your home's heating system is capable of dealing with extreme cold, you’ve probably got some logs on the fire. Keep the C02 in the smoke from entering your home. How? Make sure your flue is open when a fire’s burning, and have the flue and the chimney checked annually by a professionals. Likewise never light a barbeque indoors. Let smoke and C02 detectors do the work. If you have them, check the batteries twice a year. If you don’t have them, check with your local fire department for advice on how many to get and where to place them.
Keep it on the road, mister! Never over-steer or turn sharply on an icy road. Have your tires rotated before winter rolls around, and consider investing in a good set of chains if they're permitted in your state. Get a complete emergency pack together for your car. Finally, keep your cell phone charged and handy.