Preparing your home for fall

By TRACY CORRIVEAU

and KIM POOLE

It’s that time again, the leaves are starting to turn and the days are getting shorter.

It’s a good idea to be ready for our rain and windy season before it hits. Here are a few tips to think about:

Have a heating professional check and service your heating system every year.

Wood burning stove connector pipes and chimneys should be inspected by a certified chimney sweep, annually. Soot and creosote, which can build up inside the chimney, can ignite when a fire is lit in the wood stove or fireplace. Replace your furnace filter.

Make sure the caulking around doors and windows is adequate to reduce heat/cooling loss.

Check for loose or missing weather stripping around exterior entry doors.

Run all gas powered lawn equipment until the fuel tank is empty.

By doing this, you are removing flammable liquid storage from your garage, and prevents the gas from becoming stale.

At the same time make sure you aren’t storing dirty oily rags in a pile, as they ignite spontaneously.

Make sure there are working night lights at the top and bottom of all stairs.

Other safety tips for stairs: tile and painted wood or concrete stairs can be slippery when wet or a person’s shoes are wet; resurface the treads with slip-resistant treads near the stair edge.

All stairs of a least three risers should have a handrail. Don’t store items on the stairs.

Remove bird nests from chimney flues and outdoor electrical and lighting fixtures.

They are a fire hazard. Consider hiring a qualified professional to take care of work that needs to be done on your roof.

Clean out gutters and downspouts.

With the amount of rainwater we get, make sure the water is exiting the roof into the gutters and downspouts properly.

The water from the downspouts should be diverted away from the building foundation, add splash blocks, if needed.

Batteries, extra water, and a first aid kit are all important items to have on hand.

Also, we recommend a camping lantern, camp stove for backup cooking, and a battery-operated radio. And now would be a good time to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors.

Check your pantry, throw away and replace all expired canned and dry goods.

Have at least three days supply of food on hand, for possible winter storms and power outages.

— Tracy Corriveau and Kim Poole are agents for Windermere Real Estate in Kingston.