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Now that fall is here, it is important to begin preparing for winter weather. At PlatinumOne Insurance we would like to offer you a few winter weatherization tips to keep you out of harm’s way. We offer broad form homeowners policies to keep you protected from damage resulting from storms, and many other winter related occurrences.

Have an Emergency Kit Ready– An emergency kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.  Include the    following in your kit: water, flash lights and batteries, first aid kit, whistles to signal for help, basic tools, manual can opener, small supply of non-perishable food, radio, candles, lighter, blankets and rope.

Check All Alarms– This is a great time to check the operation of, and change the batteries in, your home’s smoke detectors.

Check & Wrap Pipes– If you live in areas where temperatures get blow freezing, make sure you turn off all outside water and drain sprinkler pipes. Cover hose bibs to prevent freezing. Search for any unwrapped pipes in the basement or crawl space.

Check Furnace– Turn your furnace on now, to make sure it’s properly working before the coldest weather descends.  A strong, odd, short-lasting smell is natural when firing up the furnace for the first time in the fall.  If the smell lasts a long time, shut down the furnace and call a professional.

Check Heat Ducts– If you have central heating it is a good idea to check all ducts to make sure there is no heat loss.

Clean Gutters– Clogged gutters can create water problems, so get them cleaned now while the weather is still good.

Check for Air Leaks– Walk around your home and look for any areas that might allow air to enter the home. Check the caulk around windows as well. Even if it’s a small crack, it’s worth sealing up.

Flip the Switch on Your Ceiling Fan– This is a great way to circulate the hot air back down into the room.

Clean Wood Stoves & Chimneys– Inspect the fireplace damper for proper opening and closing and be sure flues are cleaned regularly.

Check Landscaping– Make sure trees are not hanging too close to your home.  If so, prune back to prevent trees or limbs from falling onto your home.

Snow Removal Equipment– Check all your snow removal equipment to ensure it is in good working order.