Winterizing your Home & Vehicle

The first official day of winter is just around the corner and with snow starting to fall it is time to make sure that you are ready for the sleet, ice, wind and snow to come.  These simple tips from the Insurance Bureau of Canada can help you prepare your home and vehicles to minimize damage over the colder months.

Your Home

  • Test and maintain your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Ensure your heating sources are in good working condition- have them inspected, maintained and cleaned, replace filters each month during the winter
  • If you go on vacation leave the heat on, turn off the water, drain the pipes and have someone check on your home while you’re away
  • Test your plumbing shutoff valves
  • Inspect your attic for frost accumulation and make sure your eavestroughs are clear of any debris
  • Keep your sidewalk and front stairs clear of ice and snow
  • Keep  gas meters, exhaust vents and basement windows clear of snow
  • Have branches close to your home and hydro wires trimmed
  • Prevent freezing of pipes by fitting exposed pipes with insulation sleeves or wrapping

Your Vehicle

  • Install winter tires – they can stop 40% sooner than all-season tires and improve your vehicle’s handling in winter weather
  • Check the battery, belts, hoses, coolant/antifreeze, oil, lights , brakes and heater before winter starts
  • Check your wipers regularly and keep an extra jug of windshield wiper fluid in your vehicle
  • Inspect your tires and check the pressure at least once a month over the winter
  • Carry an emergency kit with antifreeze, a flashlight, batteries, a blanket, a candle, matches, a shovel, an ice scraper, a snow brush, sand, booster cables and food and water in case your vehicle breaks down
  • Keep your gas tank more than half full over the winter
  • Tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to arrive
  • Always ensure your cell phone is charged