Tips for homeowners to stay warm and safe in winter storms

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Extreme winter weather can wreak havoc on homes.

From freezing pipes to finding creative ways to heap up the house, damage caused could end up costing a high price, but you can prevent it.

“You want to have water, making sure you have batteries and your phone’s charged, other electronics so you have a way to call 911 if needed and obviously just some basic foods,” said Fire Prevention Coordinator, Timothy Morris.

He said there are precautionary steps to take at home during the cold winter months.

“Having, and it’s such a cheap insure policy for you, is having a working smoke alarm,” said Morris. “One on every floor, one outside of your bedrooms within 10-15 feet, and also a carbon monoxide detector.”

Morris doesn’t recommend using the stove as a source of warmth.

“Because what that does is causes incomplete combustion which ultimately raises the carbon monoxide level in your home,” Morris said. “Even if you’re not using your stove your furnace, and other appliances can become contaminated or maybe are improperly working and can emit more carbon monoxide than they should.”

Plumbing Field Supervisor of Black Diamond Plumbing, Aaron Kalas, said to pay attention to your pipes.

“Any piping that’s on an outside wall could be subject to freezing depending on how low the temperatures get,” said Kalas. “In situations like those, if it’s underneath the cabinet if you could open up the cabinet doors to let the warm air in from the room.”

It’s also important to pay attention to how much snow falls.

“Exhaust pipes for your high efficiency furnaces and water heaters, those typically go outside of your home, and if the snow drifts are too high it can actually block that exhaust and create carbon monoxide being inside the home,” said Kalas.

There are services through the City of Rockford and the county to help those who can’t afford heating in their home. You can find more information with this link.

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