Winter home safety checklist

A couple sitting on a sofa in their living room making a checklist.

Is your home ready for winter weather? There’s a lot you can do to help protect your property from the risks that come with cold temperatures, howling winds and lots of cold precipitation.

Here’s a handy checklist to take with you around the house to ensure you’ve prepared it for the season ahead.


  • Drain garden hoses and shut off the exterior water supply
  • Prune trees and bushes
  • Check for loose or broken branches to minimize the risk of damage once they get loaded with snow
  • Pack away tools, patio furniture and outdoor fixtures such as lights that won’t hold up well in the cold
  • Inspect the roof for damaged or missing shingles
  • Clear debris from gutters and downspouts
  • Ensure all exterior vents and exhausts are in good condition and are not blocked
  • Seal any cracks or gaps in exterior walls to prevent drafts
  • Inspect windows and doors for air leaks and seal or weatherstrip, as needed
  • Consider installing storm windows if not already in place
  • Inspect the foundation for cracks and repair any damage
  • If you use wood to heat your home, sweep the chimney to minimize the risk of a chimney fire
  • Get shovels and salt or other ice removal ready so you’re prepared to maintain your driveway and walkways


  • Invest in preventative devices, such as water leak or shut off devices, a smart thermostat and a backup generator
  • Ensure you have a comprehensive emergency kit, including first-aid items, blankets, flashlights, batteries and non-perishable food
  • Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure they are in good working order
  • Add heavy duty drapes to windows and sliding doors to keep warm air from escaping
  • If you don’t use your fireplace, insulate it to keep warm air from getting out
  • Consider having a technician inspect the furnace or boiler to ensure it’s working well
  • Replace air filters and clean ducts, if necessary
  • Consider installing programmable thermostats to optimize heating
  • Insulate exposed pipes to prevent freezing and potential bursts

Taking the time to prepare your home for winter with this safety checklist will not only help prevent costly and disruptive problems, it offers peace of mind throughout the season.

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