Winter, Winter, Everywhere!

Despite the official winter season still being a month away, winter weather has officially arrived in Calgary!  We thought it may be helpful to review some important and helpful winter driving tips for the 2017/2018 driving season.

Winterize Your Vehicle

Winterizing your vehicle and ensuring that it is in good running condition is always a good idea before heading out on the road in cold weather. If you are not mechanically inclined, most autobody shops offer a basic “winterization” package.

Important items to check are:

– Tires (now is a good time to put on those winter tires, if you haven’t already!)
– Hoses and belts
– Battery
– Brakes
– Heater and Defroster
– Wiper Blades, washer fluid and antifreeze

 

Emergency Safety Kit

It is also a good idea to carry an emergency safety kit in your vehicle, especially when traveling long distances.

Important items to include are:

– Food (non-perishable items) and water
– Extra clothing, including boots, toques, mitts, and gloves
– Ice scraper and snow brush
– Blanket, candles and matches
– Shovel and tow ropes
– Flares and flashlight
– Maps
– Sand/salt (or kitty litter)
– Jumper cables (good to have year-round)

Note: many retailers, such as Canadian Tire, sell emergency safety kits that contain most of these items.

Drive Safe

During winter driving, take extra caution and stay up-to-date on weather and road conditions. In the event of a storm, it is best to stay off the road if at all possible. It is also good to regularly check your tire pressure, clear windows and clean headlights and tailights, and keep your fuel tank at minimum 1/2 full.

 

In addition to winter driving tips, we thought it may be helpful to provide a few tips on preparing your home and yard for the cold.

 

Winterize Your Home

– Have your furnace inspected, and if necessary, cleaned to ensure it is in good working condition
– Check your roof for damage or loose/missing shingles that may leak during winter storms or from melting snow
– Caulk around windows and door frames to prevent drafts and leaks, and apply weather stripping around doors as needed
– Clean gutters to avoid the backing up of water, leaks, or ice build up
– Add extensions to downspouts so water runs at least three to four feet away from your home’s foundation
– Turn off exterior faucets and disconnect and drain the hoses to prevent freezing
– If possible, mulch your leaves so that they decompose and nourish your lawn over winter
– Have your chimney and vents cleaned to ensure they are in good working condition to prevent fires and carbon monoxide from getting into your home
– Restock your winter essentials, such as salt, ice melt, and of course… shovels

 

 

Hopefully you have found these winter driving and maintenance tips helpful.  If you have any to add to our list, we would love to hear them!

 

Thank you,

The Costen Insurance Team