Prepare your home for winter nor'easters
As winter approaches, residents in the Washington, D.C. area can once again expect bone-chilling temperatures, blinding snow and wintry winds that accompany the East Coast storms known as “nor’easters.”
But with some advance preparation, homeowners can be confident that their pets, homes and family can ride out the storm in safety.
Shelter from the storm
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, power outages are likely in these types of weather conditions, leaving many D.C. residents relying on space heaters and fireplaces for heat. As a homeowner, it’s important to remember that these strategies can increase the risk of household fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
By taking a few precautionary measures, you can rest assured that you’re protecting you and your family during the next round of those nor’easters. Consider implementing these tips before the next storm hits:
- Use flashlights. Reading by candlelight may be fun, but remember, candles remain one of the most common sources of residential fires. Instead, why not buy each family member his or her own flashlight? Store extra batteries in a designated "emergency supply" area, such as a linen closet, or consider purchasing a hand-cranked flashlight.
- Prep your fireplace. Schedule a chimney-sweep service to clean and inspect your chimney and fireplace. Soot, bird-nests and cracked masonry can endanger your family. Check smoke-detectors.
- Consider other power sources. Investigate buying a generator for backup power, or test your existing generator to ensure it will work when you really need it.
- Insulate your home. Upgrade to energy-efficient windows, wrap pipes and insulate your attic. Taking these steps will prepare your home for winter's challenge, and you'll typically save money on your energy bills. Some improvements may qualify for a tax break. Check with your tax-preparer.