But besides the minor troubles and daily cold weather struggles that exasperate most Canadians in wintertime, the season also gives rise to its fair share of serious weather-induced home hazards. While a front door that’s frozen shut is frustrating enough, a frozen pipe can be downright dangerous.
How can a careful Canadian homeowner be sure to keep herself and her family safe from these more-than-minor wintertime woes? Read on for our most tips on how to steer clear of these and more winter home hazards.
While you may be aware of the potential of frozen pipes, did you know that this hazard could even lead to flooding in your home?
During the cold winter months, sudden drops in temperature can lead to pipes freezing over, which could potentially result in pipe brakeage. A frozen pipe could result in a broken one, which could leave you with dangerous flooding in your home – especially in your basement, bathroom and kitchen.
To keep your pipes from freezing this winter, be sure to get them inspected and insulated. What’s more, it’s wise to drip your faucets and seal all air leaks that you may find during the course of your inspection.
The winter season comes with its own set of fire-related safety hazards, and although many of these occur around the holiday season, decorative lights are not the only fire-related hazards to watch out for when the mercury drops.
If you’re making good use of your fireplace or wood stove this winter, be sure to stay vigilant whenever the fire is crackling. Keep an eye on any type of open flame, use a mesh or metal screen when using the fireplace, and never dispose of hot ashes without letting them cool for at least four days.
What’s more, be sure to get your chimney inspected and keep your fireplace properly maintained.
Although the fluffy white snow might look lovely on evergreens and rooftops, all that picturesque snowfall takes its toll on trees and their branches. The weight of ice and snow on tree branches leaves your home vulnerable to those branches falling and damaging your property.
To reduce the risk of injury to yourself or loved ones, or damage to your home or vehicle, trim tree branches that hang perilously close to your home. What’s more, consider having rotting trees removed completely to prevent them from causing serious damage to your property.
Slips and Falls on Ice
This most common or wintertime woes is also one that could cause you serious injury if you’re not careful when making the trek outdoors on a frigid winters’ day. Ice on your driveway and sidewalk could lead to serious slips and falls, and is especially dangerous to seniors.
Keep your family, yourself, and any passersby safe by clearing your driveway and your portion of the sidewalk of snow, slush and ice. Use salt, sand, or even cat litter to neutralize stubborn ice. For extra protection on icy pathways, wear non-slip shoes or cleats for extra traction.
Preventing home hazards, and knowing how to react properly if they do occur, is the best way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe at home this winter. However, accidents do happen – even to the most diligent of homeowners. That’s why, with Desjardins, it’s easy to file a winter-weather related claim, so that you can get back to making the most of the great Canadian winter.