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Winter safety

Tips for keeping your family safe in the winter

Wintertime has a lot going for it—the holidays, snow, lovely evenings with the family cozied up by the fireplace. Wintertime also comes with its share of dangers. 

Burglaries

Yes, the number of burglaries do have a tendency to decrease statistically in the wintertime.  With that said, it doesn’t mean that homeowners should take their safety and the safety of their home and valuables for granted.  

One way to ensure that your home doesn’t make it on the “available to burglarize list” when you are away, enlist a snow shoveling service to continue to shovel your sidewalks. Also, ask a neighbor to retrieve your mail, your packages and your notifications that might be stuck to your door in your absence. Likewise, discourage potential thieves by leaving a light on inside of your home and on your  patio. 

Another thing you can do to protect your home is secure windows and doors. Make sure that all your window locks are closed. Also, thieves often break windows in order to enter your home; try adding an anti-shatter film. This film will keep your windows from being easily broken and will often discourage potential thieves. Of course, keeping your doors from being kicked or pried open is some of the best deterrent against burglaries and home invasions. Visit Armor Concepts if you are ready to take action and get the ultimate protection for your family and your hard-earned valuables.  

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 

Carbon monoxide poisoning kills more than 400 people and sends over 60,000 people to the hospital each year. Carbon monoxide is produced by fuel that is burned in fire places, furnaces, water heaters, car engines, generators and other heat producing sources. 

Carbon monoxide is a gas that has no odor or color which makes it impossible to detect unless you have a carbon monoxide detector or you come down with symptoms of poisoning, including: headaches, nausea, dizziness, tiredness. When you have been exposed to large doses of poisoning you might experience a loss of consciousness, an inability to walk, vomiting and lots of mental confusion, and finally, death if continuously exposed to high levels. 

If your detector alarm sounds, you need to get outdoors immediately and get clean air. Then call the fire department, and they will come and check your home’s CO levels and determine the location of the leak. Don’t try to fix the leak on your own.

Fires

Fires are another big safety issue, especially during the winter. Like carbon monoxide poisoning, occurrences of fire increase due to the increased use of heaters. Likewise, the instances of fires in the home increase due to decorations for the holidays, use of candles, and winter storms.

During storms where electricity is lost, people often use heat sources that aren’t up to code and aren’t properly watched.  If you plan to use your fireplace, make sure that you have it inspected and that you have all the proper equipment, like a proper screen to prevent flying embers and a hearth that extends out far enough to meet code. The most important thing is to make sure you never leave the fire unattended and that it is completely snuffed before going to bed. Also, people often forget to turn off all the things that were turned on when the power goes out.  Unfortunately, that can lead to a power surge and trigger a fire when the electricity is returned. Be sure to unplug and turn off as many electrical devices and appliances during a power outage.

Holiday decorations and candles lead to a number of fires as well.  Make sure that when you are using candles that they are always attended.  When you are using them with decorations, make sure they aren’t in contact with any flammable surfaces like garland!  If you go with a live tree, it is important that you keep the tree well hydrated to keep its flammability down. Keep it away from a heat source if possible and use lights that have a high safety and quality rating.

Winter is full of opportunities to enjoy your home but also to get away and visit family and friends for the holiday.  Whether you are staying in or getting away, protect yourself and your home. Install a carbon monoxide detector, be cautious with your holiday decorations and candles, and follow good safety protocols to protect you home from burglars.