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Tips to Keep Your Home Safe During Storms
June 13, 2017
Clear rain gutters, repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house, barn, shed, or other structure during a storm.
Extend your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.
Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic. Allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing. Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.
Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.
Carbon Monoxide Hazards
The primary hazards to avoid when using alternate sources for electricity, heating or cooking are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire. Carbon monoxide can be deadly, so prepare your home with these tips:
Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate the unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.
If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door.
Call for help from the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you.