Black Friday Winter Preparedness Gift Ideas from FLASH

Black-Friday-Graphic

With families experiencing colder-than-normal temperatures already during the month of November and with freezing temperatures over the Thanksgiving holiday, the FLASH team suggests adding a few winter safety items to your Black Friday shopping list.

There’s no better gift than one that offers your loved ones safety and protection and even has the potential to save their lives. FLASH developed a comprehensive list of winter-weather preparedness gift-giving ideas that can protect friends’ and families’ homes and ensure their safety.

Winter storms from coast to coast are redefining this year’s must-have gift list. Here are suggested gifts that provide Comfort and Security as well as Home Mitigation:

Comfort & Security

  • AM/FM radios w/extra batteries
  • Automobile power inverters
  • Blankets
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • First-aid kits
  • Hand-crank powered appliances such as cell phone chargers, power supplies, radios and weather radio
  • Cell phone battery pack or case
  • LED flash lights w/extra batteries
  • FLASH Weather Alerts app
  • Power generators
    • Portable gasoline-powered generators
    • Permanent LP or natural gas standby generators
    • Solar-powered backpack to charge laptops, tablets, music players and other portable devices

Home Mitigation

  • Attic insulation
  • Insulated doors
  • Insulated faucet domes
  • Storm doors
  • Portable generators
  • Standby generators
  • Gift certificates for professional home inspections
  • Gift certificates for professional winterization services
  • Insulation for hose bibs, exposed plumbing, pool equipment
  • Weather stripping
  • Replacement windows

For a complete list of tips on how to stay safe and comfortable during power outages, click here. For more tips and resources on winter safety visit www.greatwinterweatherparty.org. For comprehensive disaster safety and home mitigation information on weather of all kinds visit www.flash.org.

Winter Tip: Foam, Dome, Drip!

With just three simple steps families can protect themselves from costly extreme cold pipe damage. Visit our Pinterest page for more preparedness tips!

Winter weather tips

When water freezes in a pipe it expands and can exert pressure over 2,000 pounds per square inch. This pressure is enough to rupture most any pipe filled with water. When the pipe bursts it can spill several hundred gallons of water per hour, resulting in the second most common cause of home insurance claims in America.

Remember:  FOAM, DOME, DRIP.

FOAM:  Insulate pipes exposed to the elements or cold drafts.  For as little as $1 per 6’ of insulation, you can stop pipes from freezing and save energy.

DOME:  Placing an insulating dome or other coverings on outdoor faucets and spigots also reduce the likelihood of the water in your homes pipes freezing, expanding and causing a costly leak.

DRIP:  Drip your faucets, to you reduce the build-up of pressure in the pipes.  Even if the pipes freeze, you have released the pressure from the water system reducing the likelihood of a rupture.  If you are going out of town, and you suspect they temperatures will drop, turn off the water to your home and open all of the taps to drain the water system. This way you won’t return to a frozen, soggy mess.

For more information on protecting your home from extreme cold conditions, visit www.flash.org. For severe weather alerts and mitigation tips, download FLASH Weather Alerts at www.flashweatheralerts.org.

Winter Weather Tips

Super heroes drip faucets so pipes don’t burst when the temperatures drop.

Winter Weather Tip

When water freezes in a pipe it expands and can exert pressure over 2,000 pounds per square inch. This pressure is enough to rupture almost any pipe filled with water. When the pipe bursts it can spill several hundred gallons of water per hour, resulting in the second most common cause of home insurance claims in America.

With just three simple steps, families can protect themselves from this costly damage.  Remember:  FOAM, DOME, DRIP.

FOAM:  Insulate pipes exposed to the elements or cold drafts.  For as little as $1 per 6’ of insulation, you can stop pipes from freezing and save energy.

DOME:  Placing an insulating dome or other coverings on outdoor faucets and spigots also reduces the likelihood of the water in your homes pipes freezing, expanding and causing a costly leak.

DRIP:  Drip your faucets to reduce the build-up of pressure in the pipes.  Even if the pipes freeze, you have released the pressure from the water system reducing the likelihood of a rupture.  If you are going out of town and suspect the temperatures will drop, turn off the water to your home and open all of the taps to drain the water system. This way you won’t return to a frozen, soggy mess.

For more information on protecting your home from extreme cold conditions, visit www.flash.org. For severe weather alerts and mitigation tips, download FLASH Weather Alerts at www.flashweatheralerts.org.

Fireplace Safety Tips for Winter

As winter approaches, families across the country are looking for safe ways to keep warm including lighting up the fireplace. These tips from FLASH and the US Fire Administration will help you keep your family safe and warm this winter season.

Fireplace Safety

Before You Light the First Fire
Before you light your first fire of the season, be sure you have completed these safety steps:

  • Have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned annually by a certified chimney specialist.
  • Clear the area around the hearth of debris, decorations and flammable materials.
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and inside and outside of sleeping areas. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.
  • Provide proper venting systems for all heating equipment. Make sure all vent pipes extend at least three feet above the roof.

Fireplace Safety Tips
While enjoying your fire all winter, be sure that each fire is as safe as it is warm:

  • If you have glass doors, leave them open while burning a fire so that the fire receives enough air to ensure complete combustion and keep creosote from building up in the chimney.
  • Always use a metal mesh screen with fireplaces that do not have a glass fireplace door.
  • Never use flammable liquids to start a fire and use only seasoned hardwood. Never burn cardboard boxes, trash, charcoal or debris in your fireplace or wood stove.
  • Build small fires that burn completely and produce less smoke.
  • When building a fire, place logs at the rear of the fireplace on an adequate supporting grate.
  • Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving your home.
  • Keep air inlets on wood stoves open and never restrict air supply to fireplaces. Otherwise you may cause creosote buildup that could lead to a chimney fire.

These resources and a lot more will be available as a part of the FLASH Great Winter Weather Party set to launch in early December. Stay tuned for details!