Winter isn’t coming—it’s here. As Michiganders, we are no strangers to severe weather conditions. In fact, we have seen it all in the Mitten state: feet of snow in Northern Michigan, sheets of ice on city streets, back-to-back snow days, a polar vortex, and everything in between. But how prepared are we, really, to protect our homes in inclement weather?
In order to protect your home from snow and storm conditions, you must first understand when inclement weather is on the way. Terms to add to your weather vocab:
- Winter Storm Watch: indicates the possibility of heavy snow, heavy freezing rain, heavy sleet, or a blizzard. This warning is typically issued 12 to 48 hours before the beginning of a winter storm.
- Winter Weather Advisory: issued for accumulations of snow or freezing precipitation that may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, lead to life-threatening situations.
- Winter Storm Warning: Issued when hazardous winter weather in the form of heavy snow, heavy freezing rain, or heavy sleet is imminent or occurring. If your area is under a Winter Storm Warning, you should take shelter right away.
At this rate, you could be on the local news channel next week—but let’s get back to home security. There are actions you can take in anticipation of, and in reaction to these winter storm conditions. Let’s identify some of the natural threats facing your home and loved ones.
Winter weather in our state can bring extremely low temperatures. In the winter months, your home should be kept at a minimum of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. While some areas in your home may feel toasty warm, temperatures between your walls will be lower than indoors.
Ensuring all windows and doors seal correctly can decrease overall heating costs, and help make certain that your home retains heat in the event of a storm. If your windows or doors let in drafts, consider using window wraps and weather stripping to close these natural gaps. Keeping the doors to closets and unused areas in your home can also aid in heat retainment.
These weatherproofing tips can help secure your home before winter storms strike, but also play an essential role in protecting your home and loved ones in severe weather. In inclement weather, power loss and/or extreme temperature drops can cause pipes to freeze and burst, and can gravely impact pets, small children, the sick, and the elderly. In the event of severe weather, maintaining heat should be your top priority.
In warmer weather, power loss is a mere inconvenience. During Michigan winters, however, the loss of power in your home can mean extreme danger. Already, we identified the extreme risks to your home and family that come with low-temps. In addition to weatherproofing your home, you should create a “power loss plan,” so your home is prepared. A few questions to consider when preparing yours:
- What backup heat source is available if electric heating is out?
- Where are additional blankets and supplies stored in the home?
- Is anyone in your home high-risk?
- Will you use a generator?
Generators can be a saving grace when power loss strikes, but if used incorrectly, can also present great risks. Before using a generator for your home, review these tips:
- Position your generator outdoors, 15 feet away from your home or other structure
- Never run a generator in an indoor space. Running a generator in a garage or other enclosed spaces can lead to fatal levels of carbon monoxide
- Keep the venting on the generator clear of snow and ice
- Turn the generator off and let it cool down completely before refueling
Heavy snowfall can pose additional risks to your home. Throughout the winter months, homeowners should keep an eye on accumulating snow. If possible, use a long-handled rake to remove excess snow from a roof’s edge. If you hear cracking or popping, call a roofing contractor immediately to have snow removed from your structure.
It is also important to keep an eye on low-hanging branches near your home or other outbuildings, vehicles, and walkways. When weak or dying tree limbs are overloaded with snow, they could fall on a home or other structure—or even a member of your family—causing serious damage. If possible, cut down dying tree branches before weather warnings strike.
Security solutions to weather any storm
While we cannot clear the snow from your roof or get the generator up and running, a customized alarm solution can provide additional peace of mind when inclement weather strikes. As you focus on keeping warm and passing the time, let a best-in-business security provider protect your home from additional threats.
From intrusion alarm systems, to one go all go fire alarms and CO detection, EPS Security’s personalized security solutions are engineered specifically with your home’s security needs in mind. Monitored door contacts detect the breach of an entrance when your system is activated; glassbreak sensors alarm with the sound of shattered glass; motion sensors detect movement in a protected area; medical pendants dispatch EMS with the press of a button; combo fire alarms detect smoke and heat; and CO detectors protect you against the “silent killer.”
With a monitored alarm system, each of these mentioned devices would send a signal to a designated monitoring center when they alarm, where trained operators handle your emergencies with urgency and accuracy. At EPS Security, our award-winning monitoring center works 24/7/365 to ensure the protection of what matters most to you.
All EPS Security intrusion and fire alarm systems are installed with a built-in back-up battery, so your security systems stays up and running, even when power is out.
Installing a comprehensive security system in your home means additional protections against winter weather:
- Room temperature sensors which alert you of drastic temperature changes
- Flood/water detectors which notify you of a puddle, before it becomes a flood
- Remote monitoring of your home temperature settings with Home Automation and Total Connect compatibility. Imagine turning up the heat from your smartphone? Done.
The EPS advantage
At EPS Security, we have provided personalized security solutions to Michiganders for over 65 years. As a local, family-owned company, no one understands the security risks posed by Michigan winters better than we do. EPS is a full-service security provider, meaning we engineer, install, service, update, and monitor security systems all throughout the state of Michigan. We see the protection of your people, places, and things as a partnership and believe that together, we can weather any storm.