#1. Clean dryer vents and duct system: Thoroughly blowing out the dryer duct system is important to help make your appliance function better as well as reduce the risk of dryer fires. The incidences of this type of fire increase in the winter months so get this task done this month.
#2. Test smoke alarms: Thanksgiving turkey dinners and distraction from entertaining guests mean more accidental cooking fires. Add the possibility of unattended candles and fires in the fireplace and you have a recipe for danger. Stock up on fire extinguishers and check the batteries in your alarms.
#3. Get winter storm ready: November windstorms can easily knock out power. Check and replace the batteries in your flashlights and place them in easy-to-find areas of the home and service your backup generator system. While you’re at it, stock up on extra water and canned goods just in case.
#4. Call and schedule a heating service pro: Make sure your heating unit is in good working order and change the filters every 3 months.
#5. Call and schedule a gutter cleaner: November brings downed leaves, needles, and branches which can quickly clog your gutters and downspouts. Protect your roof and foundation by having clear gutter drains. And make sure you use common sense when climbing your ladder.
#6. Stock up on firewood: If your home has a wood-burning fireplace, make sure you have plenty of seasoned wood. Seasoned wood is wood that has been dry for at least a year. Unseasoned wood can produce more smoke or creosote buildup within the chimney.
#7. Keep lawn clear of leaves: Continue to rake leaves and remove heavy, fallen branches off of the lawn this month as wet leaves can suffocate the grass blades. Rake leaves and compost them or use them as mulch around shrubs and bushes in the yard.