May
20

Storms Coming? Reduce Your Residential Risk

In the United States, more than 100,000 thunderstorms occur each year. These storms, which can be accompanied by high winds, hail and tornadoes, can cause power outages, fires and flooding, all of which pose serious threats to people and property across the country.

When these storms hit, many of the features that make your home more comfortable and enjoyable can also pose serious risks. Learn how to prevent damage and protect your family’s safety from these common hazards.

Landscaping
Lush, well-developed trees provide valuable curb appeal, but they can also be dangerous in storm conditions. Although it’s virtually impossible to fully prevent damage from falling branches or even entire trees, you can minimize the risk. Prune trees regularly to maintain a safe distance from the house and power lines, and eliminate dead trees or damaged branches that are more susceptible to high winds. Take a similar approach with any large shrubs, bushes or other vegetation that could cause damage to your home or vehicles.

Decorative Features
The strong winds that accompany many storms can turn everyday items in your yard into airborne hazards. If items like decorations and patio furniture aren’t secured, bring them in or safely secure them before the storm hits. Also check for decorative features like shutters, which can shake loose in a strong wind and cause significant damage to your home’s exterior.

Propane Tanks
Numerous variations of severe weather, including floods and strong winds, can cause falling tree limbs or other debris to impair or even destroy a propane tank. More important than the property damage are the potential safety risks, such as gas leaks. In addition to trimming back landscaping that could fall onto a tank, also have a service technician survey your tank for possible risk factors, such as rust, loose fittings or faulty valves.

Doors and Windows
Poorly fitted or sealed doors and windows are especially vulnerable in a storm. They can invite leaks or, even worse, blow in completely when weakened by blustery force. It’s a good idea to give all openings to your home a careful review at least a couple of times a year and again after any major weather event.

Source: Propane Education & Research Council