8 Winter Dangers We Should All Be Aware Of

December has begun, which means that winter is just around the corner. Although the festive period is a magical time, there is no escaping the fact that with winter comes a variety of dangers that we all need to be aware of. Frostbite and hypothermia are obvious but have you considered the fact that your roof could collapse, your home could be burgled, or you could be involved in a car accident? If not, then read ahead, as there are a few more dangers that you should know about.

 

 

House Fires

Although house fires are a danger at any time of year, during the winter, when you’re trying to heat your home, they become even more common. Luckily, there is plenty that you can do to avoid having a house fire. Be sure to have your chimney checked and cleaned professionally before you even consider lighting a fire. If you have an open fire, you should only burn hardwoods, as paper and cardboard can easily be moved by the hot air from the fire, and can fall out of the fireplace. Also, make sure you never leave a fireplace or candles unattended, and keep space heaters at least three meters away from clothes, furniture, and anything else flammable.

 

Burns

When you’re heating your home all day every day, you can easily get burned, which means that it should be no surprise that rates of burns rise in the winter. Following the tips above will help you avoid some burns, but there is more that you can do to avoid burning yourself. When you’re cooking, make sure that pan handles are always facing the back of the cooker, so the pan can’t be knocked. Make sure to check your electric blankets every year for hot spots, and never put boiling water in hot water bottles; The water should be warm.

 

 

Car Accidents

According to Babcock Partners, rear-end collisions are the most common type of car/truck accident, and these are the ones that you should be most aware of during winter. Car and truck accidents tend to increase during the winter, as drivers forget that their car will take longer to stop on the icy and wet roads. To avoid being involved in a car accident, remember that you need to brake earlier, avoid doing so suddenly, and ensure your tires have the legal amount of tread.

 

Leaking Home

No one enjoys cleaning out their gutters, but, unfortunately, if you avoid this household chore during the winter, you could cause leaks in your roof and walls. This is because the leaves and debris build up really quickly, which blocks the guttering, and increases the chances of ice dams being formed. These ice dams can damage your roof and walls, leaving them open to leaks. All of the leaves, ice, and snow could be too much for your gutters, and they could break off completely under the weight, so it’s important to ensure they’re clean.

 

Roof Collapse

Unfortunately, your roof could be in danger of completely collapsing during the winter, which is the very last thing you want to wake up to on Christmas morning. To avoid this, make sure that you get your roof checked by a professional before the winter weather hits too badly, as your roof could have damage that you didn’t notice during the summer. You should also reduce the chance of damage from leaks, by ensuring that your gutters are clean. The weight of snow can also cause your roof to collapse, so make sure that you can clear the snow from your roof if it snows too heavily.

 

 

Bursting Pipes

A burst pipe could cause water damage throughout your entire home, which can leave you without one until the damage is repaired. Unfortunately, bust pipes are incredibly common during the winter, as the water in pipes is often left to freeze. To avoid this, you should make sure that you keep your heating on at all times, as this will keep your pipes warm, and avoid them freezing. You might also want to consider having your pipes insulated throughout winter.

 

Falling Trees

The cold, wind, rain, snow, and ice can all wreak havoc on the stability of the trees around your home. This can cause branches to fall off or the entire tree to topple over. If you have trees near your home, this can be incredibly dangerous. These trees can cause damage to your garden, your fences, and your home, and this damage could potentially be very bad. If you want to avoid this damage, you should inspect your trees, and cut off any potentially unstable branches; You might even have to cut down an entire tree.

 

 

Thefts

Crime rates seem to rise during the winter, which is likely because the nights are longer, so criminals have longer to hide under the cover of darkness. A theft in your home can make you feel incredibly unsafe there, so it makes sense to reduce the likelihood of a theft before it occurs; Luckily, there are plenty of ways to do that. The first thing that you should do is reduce the number of places that burglars can use to hide around your home. This means that you might need to consider getting rid of trees, bushes, sheds, and large garden ornaments. You should also ensure that your garden is well lit, as burglars use the darkness to hide. If you didn’t want to have your home lit up like a Christmas tree 24/7, then sensor security lights are a good idea.

 

Winter is great, but the dangers that come with it aren’t. Unless you want this Christmas to be remembered as the one where you were robbed, injured, or made homeless, then there are certain steps that you need to take to protect yourself and your home. There is always the chance that something will still go wrong, but at least if you do your best you won’t be left wondering “what if”.

 

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