HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- There's more to getting your home winter ready than just cranking up the heat.
The Valley has already seen several cold spells and winter is just around the corner so what do you need to do to prepare your home for the upcoming winter?
How important is it for people to prepare their home, outside and inside for the upcoming winter?
"During the emergency it's far too late to prepare for the emergency. People need to be ready for the emergency in terms of having water, ways to stay warm and ways to stay nourished," said Deputy Fire Marshall Captain Arthur Miller with the Harrisonburg Fire Department.
When thinking about gutters, there's still a lot of leaves around what do people need to do?
"Folks need to make sure their gutters are clean, water can accumulate in there, freeze, and those gutters are designed to move water away, not to hold frozen ice," said Miller.
It turns out, the number one winter hazard is inside your home.
"In the winter time the number one hazard far and beyond is heating appliances. Things to keep people warm. And literally there's nothing wrong with most of these appliances for fire hazards, it's the human element that causes the problem. We get things too close to heaters and misuse them,"said Miller.
When it's cold over a long period of time water can freeze inside pipes which also presents a danger.
"You could get some freezing of some pipes and typically what folks do to unclog those is to put heaters close to them. The problem with that is the heater stays there, and the people do not, and a fire starts," said Miller.
Instead of doing that, run a small stream or drip of water or look into getting pipe insulation.
In the event of more snow and ice, Miller recommends getting an ice melt for driveways and sidewalks before the next snow is in the forecast.
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