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Hidden Home Hazards

As the weather gets colder, we spend more time inside our homes. Along with the great benefits of hanging out at home (cozy couch, Netflix, food – you get the idea), there are plenty of hidden hazards to stay on top of, as people interact with these hazards more when they’re at home for longer periods of time.

Candles

Lighting a candle instantly brings the cozy factor to a 10, but fire is obviously a hazard. Make sure it’s burning away from other decor and that it’s not within reach of kids and/or pets. Setting an alarm to remember to blow the candle out is a great tactic; try to keep your candles to one area and not spread throughout your home; and of course, never leave them unattended!

Fireplace

Before you use your fireplace this year, have it inspected. The most serious fireplace dangers include carbon monoxide poisoning and chimney fires – both of which are largely preventable with a simple inspection to ensure fumes are being properly exhausted.

*make sure your smoke alarm is working and the batteries are new!!
** install a CO detector!

Mold

You might not completely feel the effects of mold when your windows are open and a nice summer breeze is blowing through your home, but the stale air of the winter months can make mold hard to ignore.

Even if you can’t see it, mold can be present in your home; mostly likely in humid areas with little ventilation (like the bathroom). Symptoms of a mold reaction include sneezing, runny nose, coughing, red and watery eyes, and skin irritation. Give us a call to do a mold assessment – if we find anything, we can take care of the removal and abatement as well.

Bursting Pipes

The water pipes that supply your home are susceptible to winter weather as well. When the temperature drops, the water in your pipes can freeze and expand as a result – this expansion is ultimately what causes pipes to burst and flood your home.

  • Open bathroom and kitchen cabinets to allow warm air to circulate around the plumbing
  • Let water drip from faucets that use exterior pipes – running water helps to prevent freezing
  • Consider installing products meant to insulate pipes, like a “pipe sleeve”, or even insulating previously uninsulated areas your plumbing run through (like an attic or a crawlspace)

If you suspect you’re dealing with frozen pipes, wrap a heating pad around them and call WINMAR®.

Do you “winterize” your home? Tell us how! And don’t forget to give us a call if you find yourself dealing with any kind of home emergency this winter.