BUCKHANNON — The cold winter temperatures are arriving, which means it’s time to start “winterizing” your home. It is very critical to think about what needs done in order to keep you, your family and your home safe during winter storms and low temperatures.
West Virginians encounter very low temperatures each year. It is very important to have a generator, in case of power outages. The cold winds and snow can sometimes cause the loss of electricity throughout communities, especially for those who have central air conditioning, heat, and electric appliances. Investing in a generator has become a much-needed necessity.
Generators can be used to heat your home, keep your refrigerator running or even keep entertainment options on, such as the television and computer. It is extremely important that generators are not kept in a closed-in area, such as a garage or outbuilding. Enclosed spaces can cause toxic fumes that are very dangerous and sometimes fatal if inhaled. Always be prepared to have plenty of gas for a generator in order to be ready for an outage, especially in the event of a winter storm.
According to WSAZ.com and Billy Pierce, manager of Kenny Queen Hardware, pipe insulation and heat tape are very important. In the event that a pipe bursts, it could potentially cause severe damage to the home. Slip-on pipe insulation is highly recommended by professionals. It can work for either plastic or copper pipes, which can be used with heat tape to protect it.
For medical supplies and emergency kits, here are some essentials to consider: plenty of water, non-perishable foods, medications, battery powered radios and flashlights, extra batteries, cell phones with backup chargers that do not require outlets, and possibly a whistle or something similar. Blankets, coats, gloves, thick socks and beanie hats are good to have in order to stay warm as well. Hand and feet or body warmers may help keep warm as well.
Steps to take in order to protect your home during the winter:
• Invest in a generator
• Protect the pipes
• Install a carbon monoxide detector
• Clean gutters and storm drains
• Opt for fiber cement siding
• Seal air leaks
• Trim tree branches around your home and away from your roof
• Prepare and have easily available a first-aid or medical kit
“Keep heaters and furnaces cleaned out and try to avoid any open-flamed lighting if you have children in your home,” explained Adrian Volunteer Fire Department Chief Chuck Rutherford. “I keep my dryer hooked up to the outside wall and run metal straight pipe, that way lint doesn’t lay down inside and it keeps it cleaner.”
Stay warm and stay safe! Happy Holidays!