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5 steps to prep your home for winter weather

Making fireplace safety a priority

StatePoint

Getting cozy this winter? You’ll want to make use of your fireplace.

But remember, you’ll need to take extra precautions to keep everybody and everything safe.

The use of a safety screen is a must, in fact, they’re required on all fireplaces manufactured after Jan. 1, 2015. So, if your fireplace didn’t come with one or if it is not in good shape, get a retrofit safety screen.

Even with a screen, it is also crucial that you give your fireplace clearance, keeping little ones, pets and flammables away.

To learn more or to request a retrofit screen for your fireplace, visit Heatilator.com.

When making memories with friends, family and your fireplace, make safety a priority.

This winter, stay ahead of frost and freezing temperatures by taking some easy steps to get your home ready for the cold months ahead.

If you’re not sure where to start, there are some quick step-by-step directions to get you in the DIY spirit.

Windows and doors are the biggest culprits of drafts in your home, but there are products that make sealing them simple.

While product packaging often provides instruction, online videos may be a better resource. For instance, Duck brand provides a step-by-step tutorial for how to seal window drafts with materials that provide tight barriers to keep warm air in and cold air out.

Or, for drafty doors with thick gaps, the Double Draft Seal easily slides onto the bottom of doors to block unwanted chill. Visit duckbrand.com to learn more.

To prevent frozen pipes, it’s imperative to drain water from outdoor faucets and garden hoses. Plus, have in-ground sprinkler systems winterized, as well. You can review a quick 4-minute video at thisoldhouse.com, where experts show you how you can do this easily and efficiently.

Frozen gutters are another prime source of snow and ice damage. Ice can accumulate on the edge of the roof and prevent melting snow from draining.

That’s why it’s important to clean debris from gutters several times a year. Keep the ladder on a level surface with another person as a spotter. Wear gloves and safety goggles to protect yourself, and drop debris onto a tarp or bucket below. Flush the gutter with a hose to check for proper flow, and finally check down spouts for anything that might be lodged.

How to insulate your water heater: Wrapping your water heater with an insulated blanket reduces heat loss and saves energy.

It’s simple: just measure the circumference of your water heater and cut the blanket to size. Products such like Duck brand’s Water Heater Insulation Blanket come with tape for easy installation and it’s made of non-irritating recycled cotton, not fiberglass.

How to protect outdoor items: High-wind gusts and cool temperatures can wreak havoc. Be sure to store or protect outdoor furniture and accessories.

Smaller items, such as cushions, umbrellas and drained hoses, should be stored in sheds or basements. Protect larger patio furniture and grills with tarps or custom-fit covers.

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