With winter peeking around the corner, we want to take this time to remind you of some safety tips to follow.  Not only can these tips make your homes safer but can also help you manage through the colder winter days and nights.  Remember that preparation can help you manage situations quicker and more efficiently; it is the difference between being proactive versus reactive.  Preparation can also help you eliminate undue stress and anxiety.

Winter Preparation

Consider taking the following steps to prepare your home for the cold winter months ahead:

  • Weatherproof your home especially around doors and windows.
  • Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls.
  • Have your furnace inspected by a qualified professional.
  • To help prevent a chimney fires, have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional.
  • Clean your gutters to prevent ice dams.
  • Make sure firewood is clean and dry.
  • Make sure your house has working smoke alarms and check the batteries.

Winter Driving Safety

Driving in the winter here in the Inland Northwest requires some additional preparation, as well as patience.  Proper preparation can be the difference between an uneventful trip, and a breakdown, or even an accident:

  • Keep a stocked emergency kit in your car.
  • Make sure to replace windshield wipers and fill your wiper fluid with a winter mixture.
  • Replace worn tires and check your tire pressure regularly as cold weather can cause deflated tires.
  • Have your car in good working condition (radiator, brakes, battery, exhaust, etc.).
  • Drive with your headlights on.
  • Keep your gas tank close to full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
  • Do not use cruise control in wintry conditions.
  • Leave plenty of room to stop your car, brake carefully. Slower speed, slower acceleration, slower steering, and slower braking.
  • Pull to the right and stop for emergency vehicles.
  • If you approach an accident, slow down and move over a lane if possible to give first responders a safe place to work.

Safety during Winter Storms

Winter storms can be unpredictable and bring use everything from extreme cold to ice and snow.  During winter storms pay attention to weather reports and consider the current and projected weather conditions before you head outside:

  • Clear your driveway and front walk from snow and ice, but do not overexert yourself. Use a snow blower or get someone else to help.
  • Make sure your house numbers can be seen from the street.
  • Keep snow and ice five feet away from fire hydrants.
  • Stay away from any downed power lines.
  • Be ready in case the power goes out. Have flashlights, not candles, at the ready.
  • Use generators outdoors. Do not use generators in a garage, even if you keep the door open.
  • Turn off portable heaters before you leave the room or when you go to bed.
  • Check on your neighbors.
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