You might think staying home in the winter is the safest course of action, particularly during periods of extreme cold or inclement weather. However, what appears to be a safe haven can have a ton of hazards lurking inside. Here are a few common winter home safety hazards and what you can do to minimize them.
1. Dryer Vents
Clothes dryers are a modern convenience most households couldn’t; do without. However, they can also be a huge safety hazard. January is the peak month for clothes dryer fires, which number in the thousands each year. The U.S. Fire Administration offers tips on dryer safety to help reduce the risk. These include keeping the dryer vents and lint traps free of lint and buildup and ensuring proper venting for gas appliances.
2. Fireplaces and Stoves
Firepalces create a sense of warmth that most other heating appliances just can’t match. They also pose dangers with open flames, sparks and potentially clogged flues. Gas fireplaces can create even more issues. If your unit is equipped with gas longs, schedule a comprehensive gas fireplace service Denver before you fire it up for the winter. No matter what type of fireplace you have, an annual chimney inspection can catch hazardous creosote buildup or cracks in the lining early before they become a problem.
3. Icy Walkways
Not all hazards are inside the home. Icy or snow-covered surfaces outside can lead to a fall. Once you clear accumulated snow, use rock salt or an ice melt product to keep them clear and provide traction. Some ice hazards are above your head, too. Tree limbs that are covered in wet snow or ice can break and fall, possibly damaging homes and vehicles. They might also block your path in and out of the house or driveway, cutting you off from safety. Trimming overgrown, damaged or sick trees helps minimize the risk of falling limbs.
Small steps like scheduling a fireplace service, clearing walkways and keeping dryer vents clear help to reduce the risks associated with common winter home safety hazards.