Risk Management

Risk Management

Ready or Not, Here Comes Winter

For many families, fall is the busiest time of year. School has started again, bringing with it the routine of homework, sports, and activities. But, while you’re chasing from one event to another, keep in mind another autumn tradition in Minnesota: prepping for winter.

  • Turn on your home’s heating system before it’s needed to ensure that it works. If it doesn’t, you have time to have it serviced before the heating season starts.
  • The same can be said for the heater and defrosters in your car. You don’t want to wait until you need them to find out they don’t work.
  • Your fireplace should be inspected for debris, creosote buildup, and obstructions, and given a maintenance check at the same time.
  • Be sure any space heaters you use are in good repair and operate properly.
  • Speaking of space heaters, all family members should be taught proper use, including not using them near flammable materials (bedding, curtains, furniture, clothing, paper, etc.), or leaving them running when no one’s around.
  • Candles offer a cozy ambiance, but lit candles and pets or small children aren’t a good combination. Never leave candles unattended while burning.
  • Outdoor lighting should be tested to make sure it’s working properly. Efficient lighting can offer additional protection against slips, trips, and falls.
  • Are your car’s tires ready for the unpredictable fall weather? Be sure they can handle wet, slippery, and frosty roads.
  • Make sure you are ready for fall driving as well. Fewer hours of daylight and lower sun angles can create visibility hazards. Keep some sunglasses in your car. And be sure to use your headlights—yes, even during daylight hours! They help you see others and others see you.

It may be tough to try to fit in some time between all the seasonal activities to pay attention to getting your home and vehicles ready for what’s ahead, but taking charge of these “winter preparedness” tips now will give you more time to devote to the upcoming holiday rush!