Although my calendar tells me the official start of winter is still a couple of weeks away, the freezing temperatures in Buffalo Grove indicate winter weather has arrived. Winter brings with it several unique challenges to keeping your home safe and secure.
Did you pass the practice snowfall on Halloween? If you were caught unprepared, there is still time to get ready for the real snow. Here are some things to do now before that first snowstorm of the season:
- Stock up on salt/de-icer. Grab a couple of bags now- they won’t expire if you don’t use them for a month or two.
- Get your snowblower ready. If you’re a yearly maintenance kind of person, be sure you bring it in to get it all tuned up and ready to go. Are you more of a “pour in the gas and oil and cross your fingers” kind of person? Get some gas and oil and fire that bad boy up to ensure it’s good to go.
- Stock up on supplies. Keep enough medications and toiletries on hand to get you through a day or two. Get a couple of cans of soup for the pantry and toss a frozen pizza in your freezer so you don’t have to go out for food during the storm. Remember, you can get almost anything delivered so if you do find yourself snowed in just order what you need from a local business and tip the delivery person well for braving the elements.
- Disconnect any outside hoses and cover any pipes and spigots.
As much as we all try to avoid it, sometimes we must drive during a snow storm. Invest in a quality window scraper and snowbrush. A bottle of window de-icer spray will be some of the best $1.99 you can spend. It’s also a good idea to carry a safety kit in your car. So grab that empty Amazon box or Jewel bag and load it with:
- A water bottle and snacks
- A first aid kit
- A blanket
- “Hot Hands” hand and body warmers
- A flashlight
- Jumper cables
- An extra ice scraper
While on the topic of driving, if you are going to warm up your car DON’T leave your keys in an unlocked car and DON’T warm it up in your garage, even if the garage door is open. Every year cars are stolen in Buffalo Grove because people leave their car running with the keys inside while warming up their car or running into the service station/post office/daycare/etc for “just a minute”. Don’t be that person.
Staying inside until the snow melts? Know that while we are jealous, we still have tips for you too.
- If using a portable heater be sure it has an automatic shut-off if it tips over. Also keep it at least three feet from bedding, clothing, curtains and other things that may catch fire. Don’t use extension cords or power strips with heaters and don’t leave them unattended.
- Fireplaces should have a screen in front to prevent sparks from jumping out. Also, don’t burn paper in your fireplace and extinguish the fire completely before leaving your home or going to bed. If you have a wood burning fireplace store any ashes outside in a metal container with a lid.
- Check that you have the proper number of smoke and CO alarms in your home and ensure they are functioning properly.
- For more information on home heating safety check out Winter Home Heating and Fire Safety Tips from the BGFD.
Do you have any tips or advice you would like to share? Please share them here or on our Facebook page.