12 Winter Safety Tips
Photo by Alex Master
12 Winter Safety Tips
Even with the holiday season officially over, the remaining winter still offers a variety of unique safety challenges to consider. Fortunately, you can keep your family comfortable and safe–both inside the home and out–by keeping these 12 Winter Safety Tips in mind:
Check on Heat Sources
To combat the cold, you probably have things in place inside to stay warm. Routine maintenance and monitoring will help make the use of such methods safer.
- Open flames. Never leave a fire or any open flames unattended. Make sure everything is out and cold (no glowing coals) before going to bed or going out.
- Space heaters. Space heaters can be useful and cost-effective supplemental heating devices. However, certain models can pull a lot of electricity. So, be sure to keep an eye on them and the outlet into which they're plugged.
- Air filters. If you have a central heating system or furnace, be sure to check and replace the system's air filters regularly for the most efficient and clean use. This is also wise when considering dust and allergens.
Remember Indoor Air Quality
With all the windows closed, and insulation filling in any remaining gaps, there are fewer opportunities in the winter to naturally bring in fresh air and let out stale or even harmful air. What do you really need to keep in mind?
- Carbon monoxide. Make sure that you have at least one carbon monoxide detector on each floor of the house to monitor for that harmful, odorless gas.
- Allergens, cooking odors and other airborne particles. Installation of a good air purifier (within a larger HVAC system or portable) will help get rid of bad things floating through the air, and can help everyone feel healthier.
Be Ready for Outages
Powerful storms, fallen tree limbs and skidding cars can compromise electrical lines in the wintertime. But, while certainly inconvenient, temporary power losses do not have to be a source of dread. Just make sure you're prepared ahead of time.
- Light & heat sources. Before the next storm, be sure to collect a stash of candles, a lighter/matches, and flashlights/lanterns (with fresh batteries).
- Non-perishables. Stock up on food and drink that don’t require refrigeration or cooking. Drinking water, canned goods, and your family's favorite bagged snacks are essential.
- Games, books & other wireless entertainment. Yes, you can survive without TV or the internet. And you may find that boardgames, playing cards or reading a new book can actually be fun.
- Plan with neighbors. Your home’s security can be affected by power outages, especially ones that go on for a while. Staying in touch with neighbors, or even having a formal neighborhood watch in place, can help you all feel safer.
Photo by Andrey Yurlov
Consider the Car
Bad weather doesn’t necessarily negate your need to drive. But before hitting the road, and especially before any road trips through the mountains, take care of some automotive prep first.
- Tires. Depending on the conditions where you're driving, you should make sure that you have the right kind of tires (all-weather, snow and ice, etc.), and that they are inflated to the recommended pressure for the best traction. Bring chains, if needed. It is important to change your tires into safer ones, especially in the winter, for a few reasons. First, winter tires are made from a different type of rubber compound that remains flexible in colder temperatures. This gives them a significantly better grip on cold, icy roads. Second, winter tires are designed with special tread patterns that are better able to grip the road and shed snow and ice. Finally, winter tires are often wider than summer tires, which helps improve stability and traction. When changing your tires, it is important to consult with a professional mechanic to ensure that you are getting the right tires for your vehicle and driving conditions. Firestone, Continental, and Hankook are all reputable brands that offer quality winter tires. For example, if you want all-season tires for your car you can choose Hankook tires, and to get reviews and other detailed information about them you can simply search “Are Hankook tires good for your car in all weather conditions?”. You should read reviews from reliable sources to get an idea of which tires are best suited for your needs.
- Fluids. Gas is pretty obvious. But you should also check your vehicle’s oil, antifreeze and windshield wiper fluid levels.
- Road trip kit. If you wind up stuck somewhere, water, snacks, and a couple of blankets mean you can hold out for a while. A portable shovel, bag of kitty litter/gravel, road flares, cell phone signal booster, and portable cell phone charger can help you get out of your predicament yourself or to contact someone who can help.
Not too scary, right? By keeping these common sense tips in mind, you and your family are much more likely to enjoy a fun and safe winter season. We hope that you enjoyed these 12 Winter Safety Tips.
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