Vehicle parked outside of a home

10 Home & Auto Tips for Winter

If you live in an area where winter weather tends to strike, these 10 tips can help you stay safe - no matter what Mother Nature throws down.

Love it or hate it, winter can bring various challenges. Snow, ice and high winds can all wreak havoc on your house and vehicle. It’s best to be prepared. Keep a to-do list to review as winter approaches. A little behind this year? It’s not too late; here are ten quick tips to get you started.

For your home:

  1. Keep your sidewalks and driveway clear of snow and ice. This will protect your property and help you avoid slip and fall claims.
  2. Remember to adjust your thermostat. Keep your heat high enough to prevent your pipes from freezing, even when you’re away.
  3. Clear the snow from your gutters and roof. This helps prevent ice dams and blockage, which can result in serious damage.
  4. Inspect your fireplace and chimney. Do this before you make a fire to ensure a clear path for smoke.
  5. Check all smoke detectors. Fires are common in the winter months, so make sure your detectors are in working order. Determine an escape route with your family.

For your vehicle:

  1. Match your driving to the road conditions. Slow down. When the weather is especially bad, stay off the roads.
  2. Prepare an emergency kit in your car. Winter driving can bring the unexpected. This should include, but not be limited to a snow shovel, bottled water and a blanket.
  3. Keep your car in a garage or under cover if possible. When you do have to venture out, it saves you from cleaning it off. Plus, it won’t be in the way when you (or others) are clearing snow from your driveway or the street.
  4. Clean snow and ice from your vehicle before driving. This includes your windows, headlights, taillights, roof and hood. It’s important to be able to see and be seen. It’s frustrating for you and the driver behind you if you skip this step.
  5. Make sure your tires are in good condition. Tires that you can get by with in the warmer months may not be adequate for winter driving. If you’re not sure, check with your mechanic.

As you discover additional winter-related home and vehicle maintenance items, add them to your annual list. Taking care of these tasks could save you a great deal of time and money in the long run.

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