Security and Safety for Shorter DaysNovember 13th, 2017 | by Provision Home | in Safety Advice
Security and Safety for Shorter Days
As the night falls on Halloween, remember to set the clocks back 1 hour before you go to sleep as Daylight Savings Time ends at 2am on Sunday November 1, 2015. Because we lose an hour of daylight, Provision Home would like to remind everyone to be aware of their surroundings to ensure the safe travels of other drivers and pedestrians on our streets.
Many of us are now commuting home from work in the darkness. We all need to exercise extra caution and take responsibility for our personal safety and the safety of those around us. Drivers are reminded to turn on vehicle headlights and be vigilant in looking out for cyclists and pedestrians. Before the weather gets colder, install new wiper blades and top up window washer fluid that is designed for freezing temperatures. When it snows, fully clear all your windows before proceeding and watch the road, as wet or icy spots are considerably harder to see in the dark. Take extra care around bus stops as pedestrians often risk running for a bus across the street without looking at traffic or they slip on the road and fall below the sight of drivers on dark roads. Keep blankets and supplies in your car.
- When walking or exercising in the dusk or dark, keep the following tips in mind:
Stay on the sidewalk; do not walk in the street; only cross the street in crosswalks with traffic control devices.
- Look both ways before crossing the street and listen for oncoming traffic.
- Never run between cars into the street.
- Wear clothing that allows drivers and people to see you. That means no dark clothes after dark or early in the morning.
- Exercising outdoors at dusk or at night can be dangerous without some type of reflective device on your clothing. Many athletic shoes have reflective qualities built in, but also consider a vest complete with reflective tape.
- Keep alert! Dawn and dusk offer convenient shadows for muggers and other crooks.
- Avoid Reading/Checking or Texting on your Mobile Phone or Portable E-reader when commuting on foot or waiting for a bus. You become vulnerable to harm/injury when you are walking distracted and your security is at risk when you are not paying full attention to your surroundings.
An Once of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
Around your home, you can change the batteries in your smoke alarms, CO2 detectors and flashlights. It is also a good idea to have a few glow sticks on hand for power outages as they provide a soft glow of light for up to 12 hours. When you are winterizing, check that recreation vehicles; bikes and tool sheds are locked up for the winter season, as they can be an easy target for thieves when they will not be checked again until next Spring/Summer.
If you are going to be out and about this Fall/Winter, be street smart and add reflective tape to increase your visibility to drivers. Reflective tape comes in an assortment of colors and widths. It can be purchased at the hardware store and ordered online. Reflective tape can be added to Bikes, Helmets, Strollers, Walkers, Walking Sticks, Canes, Shopping Carts/Buggies, Backpacks, Umbrellas, Briefcases, and Vehicle Bumpers. Select footwear with reflective material and wear a hi-vis vest for optimum safety. It can make a life and death difference. Be Safe, Be Seen.
Prioritize to Winterize
With the extra time we gain from the clocks falling back an hour; it creates an opportunity to make sure your house and yard are safe and secure. Have chimneys cleaned out before using the fireplace and change or clean the filter in your furnace. Check that leaves and weeds are removed from around exterior heat pumps/AC units. Check for air leaks and water damage in all areas of your home. Clean off debris/moss from the roof and replace loose shingles. In addition, pipes can freeze in extremely cold weather, which can cause them to rupture. Use an insulating pipe wrap on pipes to keep them functioning in freezing temperatures.
Have a professional remove any branches or tree limbs that are hanging over your house or utility wires to prevent damage during windstorms. Put plastic lawn furniture, patio umbrellas and deck cushions away for the season. Secure wind chimes, hanging flower baskets, porch swings and children’s play equipment if you cannot store them indoors for winter. Change burned out bulbs on exterior house and patio light fixtures.
Clean out leaves and debris from storm drains and eve troughs and hang exterior holiday lights while the weather is still mild and there is more daylight. Remember to always have someone spot check the person on the ladder or hire a professional holiday light display company to do the risky work.
Lights, Action, Camera!
Imagine you are waiting for emergency services to arrive at your home in the dark. Would they be able to see your house address numbers from the road? Do taxi’s and delivery drivers struggle to locate your home on a regular basis? Do a night test and turn off the exterior house lights and then go stand on the sidewalk or at the end of the driveway. Is your address visible to someone who does not know where to look? Consider adding reflective address numbers to your mailbox or illuminated house numbers on your home. Not only will it increase visibility for new visitors, it will save valuable minutes during an urgent situation. And if you are someone who unintentionally leaves the garage door open on occasion or is concerned with security of your property, consider installing motion sensor lights and a camera monitor system in areas where visibility from a window is an option. Then you can check if the garage door is open or if an intruder is on your property from the comfort and safety of your house.
Don’t Let Leaks Rob You Blind
Once the temperatures start dropping, you’ll be glad you performed these quick and easy procedures to help winterize your home. Not only will you save time and money, but your house will feel more comfortable and secure.