During the most intense winter the United States has had in a long time it’s important to make sure you avoid any severe damages to your home. You can be more prepared when you know the risks that can occur in the winter to your home. Some of these helpful reminders may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to check. Let’s see how many you may have overlooked.



Protect Your Pipes

A burst pipe can ruin your house, and it’s a simple thing to avoid. First make sure your pipes are insulated, even if you live in an area where freezing is rare. It doesn’t hurt and only protects you more. When you know, it’s going to drastically cold outside be sure to open the cabinets so that air can circulate there. Also, leaving the faucet dripping will dramatically reduce the chance of freezing. 



Be Aware of Scammers 

When you’re doing your online shopping make sure you’re buying through a secure channel. Always double checking whom you’re buying from can save you hundreds of dollars and a major headache. When you find yourself out of the house be sure to keep your wallet and personal belongings close and not out in the open or left in your car. 



Test Your Alarms

If it’s been a while since you last tested your alarms be sure to do so. It may be annoying, but it doesn’t take long and can literally save your life. Check the fire alarm by pushing test and replace your carbon monoxide’s battery. Don’t forget to test your door alarm if you have one; the security company won’t mind. 



Check The Fireplace

Make sure that you have nothing flammable too close to the fireplace. If you aren’t sure how close is too close, then touch it and if it’s hot then move it. Don’t forget to have your fireplace cleaned out or inspected if it uses gas. 



Decorate Properly

When you’re hanging up lights and other outdoor decorations be sure to use proper extension cables and power strips. Setting these up improperly is a significant fire hazard and is easily avoidable. When decorating the tree be sure not to use items that are easily flammable and take extra care to make sure the tree is far away from the fireplace. 



Clean Your Dryer Vents

Dryer related fires happen more often in the winter due to poor circulation and drying of thicker clothes. To avoid this disaster start cleaning the lint screen after each load and make sure snow isn’t blocking the dryer vent outside. 



Don’t Give Kids Matches

Seems obvious, and I’m sure you won’t intentionally give out matches or lighters to children. However, children are inquisitive creatures, and if you happen to leave them out, they might want to play with them. Every time you use your lighters put them right back where you got them in a secure area.