Winter and cold weather has already hit much of the country, and as the holidays draw even nearer, you can expect ice and snow to hit the Midwest. And even though floods are among the most dangerous natural weather events to damage our homes, we can’t underestimate the terrible power of snow and ice. Once every few years, snowstorms blanket trees and homes under thick piles of heavy ice, causing roof damage, limbs to fall, and loss of power. Fate favors the prepared, but there are several massive preparation mistakes you need to avoid to stay safe during the winter. Keep the following tips in mind to make sure an ice storm doesn’t threaten the safety of your home and loved ones.
Failing to Use, Test, and Maintain Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Many people who fear power failure think they’re prepared by having a backup generator and ample fuel, but that’s only half of the equation. You also need to make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are functional and well-maintained. Generators should never be used indoors, but some people run them in their garages with the garage door cracked.
Nevertheless, it is still extremely dangerous, so also remember to run your generator at least 20 feet from vents, doors, windows, and the premises of your home. In rare cases, generator malfunctions and poor fuel safety can cause fires, which can damage the structural integrity of your home when the generator is placed near the exterior walls.
Forgetting to Stock Up on Batteries
When the power goes out, we realize how much we take lights and power for granted. But finding that you don’t have any batteries often leads to using unsafe methods to light your way in the dark. If you don’t have batteries for your flashlights, you might be tempted to turn to candles, but doing so is incredibly dangerous. Candles can ignite blankets and other fabrics, causing massive fire damage. Remember to avoid using candles and to stock up on batteries.
Failing to Charge Your Phone
Mobile technologies are a blessing of the modern digital era, and they allow you to call for help in times of need. Unfortunately, smartphones don’t run off of disposable batteries, so you need to make sure your phone is fully charged. It’s also a good idea to have multiple external batteries to recharge your phone in the event of a power failure.
Some people, despite their common sense, turn to Coleman gas burners or grills to prepare food during an ice or snowstorm. Even with the most diligent safety precautions, doing so is still a terrible idea. Once again, though it may seem counter-intuitive, one of the largest dangers during a power outage or ice storm is fire damage.
To prevent mold, leaks, and accelerated damage during the winter season, you should reach out to a local St. Louis roof maintenance professional to prepare your home for the winter season. Also remember to call for help at the first sign of water damage, since it can quickly escalate and cause an outbreak of mold.