Preparing your home for winter

Nov 3, 2021, 2:29 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — November is here, winter is on the way and the time is now to prepare your home while the weather really isn’t all that bad.

It’s going to be in the 60s for the next few days, but that inevitable cold winter storm will hit Utah sooner than later, and you don’t want to be caught off guard.

KSL’s Dan Spindle spoke with an underwriting manager at Hippo Insurance who told the top things to remember.

First, walk around the outside and inside of your home to assess its winterization needs.

Second, search for weak points — are there doors and windows that need to be sealed? Are there any hazards like cracks and obstructions that would be worse in bad weather?

Third, clear the walkways for you, your family, guests and those package delivery drivers.

Finally, clear the brush and clean out the gutters — that’s important to keep water away from your home.

“Water losses are one of the most expensive kinds of losses but they’re also one of the most frequently occurring, so disconnecting the hoses on the outside. making sure the pipes are also in a position to be kept warm,” said Steve Wilson with Hippo Insurance.

Wilson said water is a huge concern, but so is fire.

The number of house fires peaks in December and January, so now is the time to do what Wilson calls the three Ps: plan, prevent and protect.

The Utah Department of Environment Quality recommends making sure your furnace is ready by switching out your filters on a regular basis. A clean filter ensures better airflow and greater efficiency. The same goes for the vents — keep them clean.

You’ll also want to make sure your property is protected by having a plan in place.

The Utah Housing and Community Development Division administers the state’s Weatherization Assistance Program, which can provide non-cash grants to eligible households for making energy-efficient improvements to their homes.

FEMA reports that seven people died last year in housefires in Utah. So far this year, half a dozen have died in housefires in the Beehive State, so you’ve got to keep yourself and your family safe by preparing now for the cold weather.

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