“Lint build up can freeze in the winter and obstruct the proper operation of the damper, potentially creating a fire hazard due to insufficient venting of the dryer,” Macak said. “A stuck damper in the open position can allow for rodent entry and creates a thermal bypass.”
To keep yourself warm and safe this winter, Macak said that it is important to have your heating system and fuel storage tanks checked and serviced by a qualified heating contractor ahead of time.
If you have a chimney, it should also be inspected and cleaned prior to the heating season, especially if you are using wood or other solid fuel. He said it is vital to make sure that there is a rain cap with a spark arrestor installed on all chimneys to prevent fires and keep birds or varmints from obstructing the flue.
“If you burn wood, we recommend having a Chimfex stick always nearby,” Macak offered, “since it can extinguish chimney fires in seconds.” Chimfex is a fire suppressant.
If you use a generator as a backup power source, it should be tested to make sure it works properly and can handle those nasty “Nor’easter” storms in case of power failures.
As always, one of the best ways to keep your home safe is to check all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure they have new batteries, are located properly, and work well.
Finally, Macak said, make sure you have proper clothing, equipment and snow shovels, so that you are ready for the first snow.
“When shoveling snow, take your time and stay safe, since many heart attacks do occur during snow-shoveling,” Macak added.
Before that snow falls, your lawn and garden will also need specific attention in preparation for winter.
Regina Winters, garden center manager at Asbury Gardens in Oneonta, said that it is important to fertilize your lawn throughout the fall months so that it has healthy and strong roots going into winter. Now is also a good time to put grass seed down on any bare spots on your lawn so that they will grow in spring.