Winter Safety Tips
Winter is here, which means we should expect colder temperatures and an increased risk of ice storms and significant snowfall in the coming months. Snowstorms can cause significant damage to your vehicle and your home. While you may not be able to stop a storm from damaging your property, you can usually help reduce the amount of damage it causes. Here’s a list of tips to help you stay safe before, during, and after a winter storm.
Before Winter Storm
- Properly winterize your home
- Schedule a winter maintenance inspection with your mechanic, and install winter tires and new wiper blades. Also be sure to create a winter safety kit and store in your trunk.
During a Storm
- Stay off the roads. A blizzard can make roads impassable and leave drivers stranded.
- Keep everyone, including your pets, indoors. If you need to go outside to clear snow, dress in layers, take breaks, and stretch in between shovelling.
- To help prevent pipes from freezing and bursting, keep your home heated to a minimum of 18°C. Open cabinet doors in your kitchen and bathrooms to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
- If you discover that pipes are frozen, don’t wait for them to burst. Take measures to safely thaw them immediately (such as wrapping pipes in warm towels or using a hot air from a hair dryer), or turn off the main water line and call a plumber for assistance.
- If you’re going to be away, drain the pipes by shutting off the main water line and then run your taps until the water runs out. You should also flush all of the toilets to remove water from the tanks.
After a Storm
- Once the storm has passed, check the snow accumulation levels on your roof, particularly on the downwind side where blowing snow typically collects. If there’s been a lot of accumulation, consult a professional contractor who can remove excess ice and snow safely.
- Clear snow and ice from basement stairwells, window wells, gutters and around walls.
- Keep sidewalks and front steps of your home clear of ice and snow to help prevent falls.