5 Ways to Keep Your Family and Home Safe This Fall and Winter
Prepare for the colder months with these tips
As the hot weather eases and the leaves display vivid colors, many of us rejoice in this special season. This snippet of beautiful weather is the ideal time to get our homes ready for winter, inside and out. It’s also perfect for taking essential safety steps to protect our families before the cold weather sets in.
1. Brush up on your fire safety knowledge. Because we have on average just two to three minutes to escape a house fire, it’s critical to implement key fire safety steps now.
One part of protecting your family is to close the doors before you doze.
Before You Doze’ is a campaign that focuses on straightforward actions and
simple behavioral changes which can provide critical help in delaying the
spread of fire,” says Stephen Kerber, director, UL FSRI. “This doesn’t require major effort or going
out and buying anything.”
Browse all 12 critical fire safety tips for protecting your family.
2. Change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when you change your clocks back to standard time this Nov. 4, 2018.
“This day is a good
reminder to replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors,” says Barb
Guthrie, UL’s vice president of Corporate Social
Responsibility. “Exceptions are smoke detectors designed with non-replaceable
Also, make sure your smoke alarms
are functional by testing them monthly and never remove or disable a smoke
alarm. If your smoke alarm is more than 10 years old, you should replace it
with an alarm that is certified by an independent certification body, such as
You should have smoke
detectors inside every sleeping room and on every level
of your home, including the attic and basement; learn more about ideal placements. If you don’t have a carbon monoxide
detector, purchase one with a UL Mark.
“The reality is that carbon
monoxide is colorless, odorless and deadly,” says Guthrie. “We all have
elements of carbon monoxide in our homes, particularly as we move into the
winter months and settle ourselves in our homes. A carbon monoxide detector will
identify when you have a toxicity level in your home that requires you to
evacuate. If the alarm goes off, get out and call the fire department. They
will measure for carbon monoxide and detect where the fault is.”
Carbon monoxide also can
add tragedy to already dangerous natural disasters, in the form of portable
generators producing carbon monoxide being run too close to a house or in an
enclosed area, Guthrie reminds readers. Learn more about carbon monoxide and natural disasters.
time to do your fall indoor and outdoor maintenance. Preventative maintenance will help keep your family safe from accidents, as well
as help protect your home from burst pipes, ice dams and other costly damage.
“As a consumer, you need to consider what you have the power to do to protect yourself and your loved ones,” Guthrie says. “Flu shots are a great example of reducing your family’s risk of serious illness.”
5. As the days grow shorter, be prepared for the dangers of driving at night, advises the National Safety Council (NSC), when the risk of a fatal car crash is three times greater.
Even with the high beams on, headlight visibility is only about 500 feet (250 feet for normal headlights), creating less time to react to something in the road. To combat darkness:
Aim your headlights correctly, and make sure they're clean.
- Dim your dashboard.
- Look away from oncoming lights.
- If you wear glasses, make sure they're anti-reflective.
- Clean the windshield to eliminate streaks.
- Slow down to compensate for limited visibility and reduced stopping time.
Get more night driving tips.
these essential fall safety tips will help to keep your family safer, as well
as help protect your house.