Fall is here and the chilly days of winter are approaching, so the time is right to take care of a few important home maintenance tasks.

Good upkeep is an important part of having a safe home and lowering your home insurance premiums.

Though home insurance agencies are in business to financially protect your home if something happens, it is always better to avoid accidents that could cause losses in the first place.

Go through this checklist from your home insurance provider and make sure your house is safe and snug as the colder weather sets in in order to avoid dealing with the headache of an insurance claim, or the loss of any personal property!

1. Service the Furnace

Before it gets too chilly at night, have your furnace inspected and cleaned by a professional HVAC service.

A dirty furnace or vents could result in a damaging fire and a call to your home insurance agency.

A furnace with exhaust leaks could be deadly if that exhaust is leaking, making good maintenance imperative before the cold season arrives so that your furnace is working properly and safely.

2. Change Batteries in Smoke Alarms

The colder weather means using different methods to keep homes warm.

Whether relying on a furnace, a fireplace, space heaters, or a combination of the three, home insurance providers recommend doing battery changes on home smoke and carbon monoxide alarms at this time of the year.

With fresh batteries, safety alarms will be active and ready to warn in the event of a fire or carbon monoxide leak.

3. Practice Safe Fireplace and Candle Burning

Speaking of fireplaces, home insurance companies suggest that this is the prime time to make sure yours is safe to use before needing to get a roaring fire going one chilly night.

Have it cleaned if it has not been done in a while and always use it with the spark screen closed to avoid a hot ember from escaping and starting a fire.

Burn candles away from kids, pets, and flammable items plus never leave a candle or fireplace unattended while burning.

4. Use Caution with Space Heaters

Space heaters can be economical and handy on cooler nights; however, they are also very dangerous when not used correctly.

Avoid a fire that could require calling your home insurance agency for help by positioning space headers away from anything flammable and only using it while someone is there to monitor it.

If your heater uses fuel and requires ventilation, make sure it is vented to the outside of the house to prevent a toxic buildup of exhaust gases in the home.

5. Rake Up and Dispose of Leaves

Keeping roof, gutters, and yard clear of leaves once the trees go bare might seem like a purely cosmetic cleanup chore; however, home insurance providers point out that leaves cause all kinds of problems in the winter.

Avoid roof damage and the potential for leaves to catch fire from a stray ember from a fire pit by collecting and disposing of them in decomposing leaf bags to set out with the trash.

Leaf burning is a dangerous fire hazard around any home and should be avoided.

6. Have The Trees Pruned

Fall is one of the recommended times to prune trees, so ask a tree specialist to do so if there are branches that touch your house or roof.

Beyond the potential for causing roof damage, tree branches and limbs that reach a house could affect power lines in bad weather or fall on the house in high winds, leaving damage and a claim to your home insurance policy.

Trees should be trimmed well back from the house and any dead, dying, or damaged branches removed before they can cause problems.

Keep Your House Safe This Fall

As the days start shortening and temperatures start falling, now is the time that home insurance agencies recommend doing some fall safety maintenance around the house.

Prepare yard and home for colder weather yet to come to avoid safety issues and accidents that could result in home damage and claims to your home insurance.

Home insurance providers are there in case you need them, but prevention is always the best measure when it comes to home safety!

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