The cold weather months can be a fun time to settle in under a warm blanket and get cozy in front of a fire or for a night of movies. Winter also means new risks to be on the lookout for, however, and it’s important to make sure that you’re taking all the appropriate safety considerations. Here are the top safety tips to keep you and your family happy and healthy all winter long.
It’s well known that cold weather months lead to more people getting sick. While this is incorrectly attributed to being cold making you more susceptible to getting sick, the actual explanation comes down to where you spend your time. The colder it is, the more time people spend inside and that means more exposure to each others’ germs. Keeping your home clean and using sanitary products like soap or hand sanitizer are good ideas year-round, but are particularly useful in the winter when your exposure to others is higher.
Warm Your Car Outside
Nobody likes heading outdoors when temperatures are below freezing, and one popular trick is to warm up your car before leaving. This is particularly effective with the prevalence of remote starters so you don’t even need to walk outside to turn it on, first. While this does make your morning commute more fun, if you have an unheated garage you are keeping your car in you should always move it outside before leaving it to get warm. Running your car indoors releases exhaust into your garage which can make your garage unsafe to be in, or even get into your home.
Check Your Detectors
Having working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors is important year-round, but they are even more important when the weather outside is cold and behaviors that increase the risks in your home are common. If you use a fireplace or a woodburning stove to heat your home, not only do they pose a potential fire risk should an ember get out and land on your carpet or other flammable possessions, but a blocked chimney can result in dangers gasses escaping into your home. With functioning detectors, you are alerted as soon as any signs of danger are present.
Clean Your Vents
An effective trick for staying healthier during winter while also saving some money is to keep your heating ducts and vents cleaned. Dusty and dirty vents not only raise your heating costs by reducing the effective airflow of your heater, but they also cause some of that dirt and debris to be blown into the air by the heater, lowering your overall air quality. When your HVAC system is clean you’ll feel better from day to day.
Get Your HVAC Unit Inspected
Home heating systems are one of the leading causes of accidental household heating fires so it’s important to keep yours well-maintained. The cleaning you should already be doing for air quality can also reduce your risk of fire, as does getting an annual check-up performed by an HVAC technician.
There’s a lot to love about winter, but it’s important to make sure you’re doing everything you can to be safe. Don’t let your winter wonderland become a snow-dusted disaster. Stay safe and have a happy and healthy winter.
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