Summer disappeared in a flash and autumn has arrived in an early display of glorious color. The brilliant shades of red and gold are a visual reminder of the many things that we need to tend to before the harsh reality of winter sets in.
A chill in the air reminds us that we need to change the furnace filter and consider calling the HVAC specialist to make certain that the heating system is working properly before we actually need it. There’s almost nothing more surprising than your feet hitting that ice cold floor on a Sunday morning in the discovery that the furnace quit working when it was still 70 degrees inside the house – second only to the shock you receive when you find out the cost of that Sunday emergency service call. If you have a fireplace, this would also be the time to contact your friendly Chimney Sweep for that very important annual inspection.
After the furnace inspection consider conducting your family fire drill. The National Safety Council reports that more home fires occur in the fall and winter months due largely to malfunctioning home heating systems. Having a plan in place is proven to significantly reduce or prevent injury to family members. Teach all family members the safest route out of the house from every room and establish a place to meet away from the home should you need to leave. Have working fire extinguishers in several locations and teach everyone how to use them to aid in exiting the home. And most importantly, leave immediately and call for help outside the home.
The outside of your home beckons you as well. Removing those fallen leaves from gutters and down spouts will aid in preventing water damage to the foundation and ice damming on your roof. Disconnecting garden hoses and using the indoor shut off to drain and close the outside valves will reduce the chance of pipes freezing inside the home. Also don’t forget the garage. Drain any remaining gas from your lawn equipment and recreational vehicles to prevent sediment from clogging the fuel lines in the spring. Fresh fuel should be stored in appropriate safety containers out of children’s reach so that you are ready for the inevitable snow. An emergency generator is always an added benefit should the wind and ice storms cause power failures in your area.
Vehicles need to be readied for the change in the weather as well. Tire tread and pressure should be checked to aid in safe travel when the pavement becomes wet and icy. New wiper blades, filled windshield fluid and a battery check are also recommended. The National Safety Council indicates that 70% of all drivers do not change their wiper blades until their visibility is significantly reduced. In addition, all vehicles should be equipped with an emergency pack that includes jumper cables, flares, flashlight, blanket, etc.
The change in the season is also a great time to ask a qualified insurance professional to review your home and vehicle policies to make sure that you are covered should any of these weather related issues occur. Safety tips and preventative measures are just a small part of the information that your agent has available to aid in creating a safe environment around your home.
The staff of The Boulevard Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of Standard Bank and Trust Co. has over 50 years of experience to assist you with your insurance needs. Because we work with a number of insurance vendors, we are able to provide you a vast array of coverage with competitive rates. For a free, no-obligation insurance quote, call us at 877-365-6177 or click here to contact us.