blogWinter storms come in all shapes and sizes. Whether it’s a moderate snow fall lasting a few hours or a blinding blizzard that lasts for days, one fact remains: the best way to keep your home and family safe is to have a plan in place before severe winter weather strikes.

From frost bite to frozen pipes, you can help prevent some of the most common winter weather problems by following this winter storm advisory check list.

Before the Storm

  • Have your home heating equipment serviced annually to make sure it’s in tip top shape. This is the best way to uncover and remedy any problems before they become heating emergencies.
  • If you use a fireplace or stove as an additional source of heat, have the chimney and flue inspected annually, as well.
  • Test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly, and replace the batteries once a year or more often if needed.
  • Have a “family emergency plan” in place. Your family might not be all under one roof when winter weather strikes, but knowing how to contact each other and what to do can alleviate stress and worry.
  • Assemble a home supply kit that could help your family ride out a winter storm for at least 3 days. Include plenty of warm blankets and clothing, water, food, sanitary items, medications, and pet supplies. Don’t forget dry, seasoned wood for the stove or fireplace.

During the Storm

  • Stay indoors during the storm, and if you absolutely have to go out, use extreme caution on roads and sidewalks.
  • Avoid over-exertion when shoveling snow. Dress in warm, breathable layers and take frequent breaks.
  • Never use your oven to warm your home, and do not bring a gas or charcoal grill indoors for cooking.
  • Help prevent water pipes from freezing by keeping cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate around your pipes. And keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets that are connected to pipes exposed to below freezing temps.
  • If your home loses power, keep as much heat inside as possible by keeping doors and windows closed.

After the Storm

  • If you’re not sure whether food has gone bad, play it safe and throw it out. Better to lose a few dollars than suffer through food poisoning.
  • Inspect visible and accessible water pipes for signs of freezing or damage.
  • If you’ve been forced out of your home during a winter storm, do not re-enter if you smell gas. Go to a safe location and call 911 immediately.

Sounds pretty awful, right? Well, it’s nothing we all haven’t been through before. And with the right amount of planning and preparation, we can survive plenty more winter storms yet to come. In the meantime, how about your heating system? Has it been professionally cleaned and inspected within the past 12 months? If not, we urge you to call Burton today to schedule service as an added measure of precaution.

Same goes for any exposed water pipes you might have in unheated areas of your home. While it’s a job you can certainly do yourself, we realize that there are only so many hours in the day; as such, it’s a job we’d be happy to tackle.