Winter tips: For home, garden, pets and roads
KEEP YOUR PETS SAFE
During the colder months, and especially during the holidays, pets have a lot to worry about. Here are eight pet-friendly tips.
1) Make sure decorations are secure and can't be knocked down, chewed or swallowed. Ornaments, tinsel and ribbon look like toys to cats. Low-hanging ornaments are especially tempting. If swallowed, a piece of tinsel or ribbon can cause a cat's intestines to bunch and twist, requiring immediate surgery.
Source: International Fund for Animal Welfare
KEEP RODENTS OUT
1) Watch out for rodents. Winter is when they're looking to come indoors. Don't let them. A mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime. Fill all those little holes and gaps around the house.
Source: Lou Manfredini, Ace Hardware home expert
KEEP YOUR FURNACE OPERATING SAFELY
As nights grow colder, our furnaces get more use. Before switching on the heat, make a safety check.
1) Check your furnace. Change the filters and make sure the vent connections are in good order. Make any needed repairs before it gets really cold.
BE SAFE AROUND FIREPLACES, WOOD STOVES
During the cold winter months, many people use wood-burning appliances for heat. Here are six safety tips.
1) Have chimneys and stovepipes inspected and cleaned annually by a professional. Leaves, creosote, bird nests and other materials may cause clogs.
Source: California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
STAY SAFE ON WET ROADS
Here are five safety reminders for driving in rainy or foggy weather.
1) Check to see that the windshield wipers are in good condition. Replace as needed.
Give your home's doors and windows an energy-minded checkup for the cold months ahead.
1) Examine the inside of your windows and doors for "drafty" spots or areas. This indicates "air infiltration" -- air leaking in from outside -- that can lead to reduced energy efficiency. Make sure there is adequate weatherstripping and caulking around each. This ensures a weather-tight, secure seal.
Sources: Gary Pember of Simonton Windows; Lou Manfredini, Ace Hardware's home expert