Whether you love winter weather or absolutely hate it, you can’t deny that the snow, icy roads, and cold temperatures are incredibly dangerous. Winter is something that we have to go through every single year, but despite the routine of it all, few people are properly prepared when it arrives. You can find winter hazards in your home, your car, and just out and about, so you need to take measures to protect yourself and your family. Here are a few things that you need to remember to do every single year when the winter weather hits.


  1. Reduce The Fire Risk

House fires are incredibly deadly, and, unfortunately, they are incredibly common during winter. Luckily, most incidents are easily prevented with some common sense and forward thinking. If you have a fireplace, make sure to get it checked and cleaned professionally before lighting any fires. You should also make sure that you only put hardwood on your fire, as paper can easily fly out the fireplace and set your carpet alight. Also be sure to never leave candles or space heaters unattended, and keep them away from flammable objects. Regularly test your smoke detector, as this will give you some much needed time to escape your property if a fire ever does erupt.


  1. Prevent CO Poisoning

Carbon monoxide gas has no smell or taste, but if you’re exposed to it for too long, it can result in death. Blocked chimneys can result in a buildup of carbon monoxide, which is another reason why it’s so important to have them checked before lighting any fires. Faulty boilers can also leak CO, and since you’ll likely be using your heating a lot during winter, you should also have that inspected by a professional. It’s important to have a carbon monoxide alarm installed in your home, because if you don’t you could be breathing in huge amounts of CO without knowing. If your carbon monoxide alarm ever sounds, get yourself and your family out of your home immediately, and phone the emergency services.


  1. Beware While Driving

Always check weather warnings before you go out driving during winter, and avoid venturing out if the weather advises you not to. If you have to go out during winter, then make sure that you always tell someone where you’re going and the route you’re going to take. Rain, ice, and snow, can massively affect your braking distance, so you have to keep this in mind when you’re out and stay slow. Rear-end collisions are incredibly common during winter because people forget to leave appropriate space for braking. If you’re involved in a collision, remain calm, call the emergency services, don’t admit fault, and gather evidence for a personal injury claim if you can.


  1. Pack An Emergency Kit

When you go out driving during winter, you should also remember to pack an emergency kit. This should include anything you might need if you happen to get stranded. If you do get stranded, the first thing you need to do is contact someone, so make sure that you have a charged phone or a portable battery for your phone in your kit. You might be waiting a while, so pack blankets, some bits of food, and a few bottles of water. Also make sure to pack a first-aid kit, a flashlight, and jump leads.


  1. Keep Your Home Stocked

It’s not just your car that you need to keep stocked for an emergency; There is also a chance that you might not be able to get out of the house because of the weather, so you need to keep your home stocked full of everything you might need too. Make sure that you have plenty of food, especially food that doesn’t need to be refrigerated or cooked, just in case the power goes out. You should also make sure that you have a fully stocked first aid kit, and that you have enough medication if you’re on a repeat prescription. If you have a baby, it’s also important that you have enough wipes, diapers, and formula or food.


  1. Remember Your Electricals

The winter weather can wreak havoc, and every year thousands of homes are left without power because of winter storms. The last thing you want is to be left completely without power, so it’s important to remember your electrical items. Make sure that you have portable chargers and power packs fully charged so that you can use your electrical devices at least for a little while. Some power cuts don’t last very long at all, so you can easily keep your children entertained with a DVD on your laptop in this time. A portable charger is also important to keep your phone charged so that you can call the emergency services if necessary. Also, make sure that you have flashlights or lamps, and plenty of batteries to power them.


  1. Prevent Leaks

Winter is the very worst time to have a leak in your roof, but, unfortunately, it’s the most common time to have a leak. If you want to prevent your roof from leaking this winter, then there are a few things that you can do. Firstly, make sure to have your roof inspected before the winter weather hits, as you could have damage that you just haven’t noticed throughout the dry season. This is very dangerous, especially in icy conditions, so hire a professional to do it, rather than attempting it yourself. As boring and gross as it may be, you should also make sure to clear your guttering regularly, as blocked gutters can cause ice dams, which can result in damage to your roof.


Whether you get excited at the very thought of snow or wrinkle your nose in disgust, it’s pretty hard to escape it, so you need to be prepared for it. Winter weather brings with it a lot of risks, dangers, and hazards, but, luckily, a lot of these can easily be prevented, so be prepared.


By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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