It’s been really cold in many regions of the U.S. Your mom doesn’t go outside.
Her mail comes to the door. She doesn’t have a dog to walk. With this in mind, there are still ways that the cold weather could put your mom’s safety at risk. Here are things you need to do to keep her safe.
Inspect Heating System Vents
If snow or ice blocks a heating system vent, carbon monoxide can build up in the home. This odorless gas leads to flu-like symptoms that can cause serious health issues. Make sure vents are cleared of snow after a storm and not blocked by ice.
Each year, you should have the boiler or furnace installer clean and inspect the system. During that inspection, vent pipes will be checked for loose connections or cracks. This is the best way to keep a heating system working safely.
Test Her Smoke/Fire and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
It’s important that your mom has working smoke/fire and carbon monoxide detectors. They should be tested each month to make sure they’re working and that the batteries are not dead. Many models have a date stamp on the back. Pay attention to that date. That’s the expiration and indicates when replacement is necessary.
Check with your mom’s local fire department. Many have programs that provide senior citizens with a free smoke/fire and carbon monoxide detector check-up. They can also inform you of local codes. Some states require photoelectric over ionization smoke alarms.
Make Sure Pipes Are Insulated
Frozen pipes can be a costly headache. They can also lead to issues if they freeze and burst. Water damage increases the risk of mold. In very cold weather, plumbers may be booked up, so your mom’s home could be without water for days.
You can prevent frozen pipes by making sure pipes exposed to cold air are insulated. If your mom’s home has a crawlspace, many of the pipes below her home could freeze. Insulating pipe covers will help. She may also benefit from heat tape to keep pipes from freezing.
Cold weather is unpleasant, but it doesn’t have to put your mom at risk. These three easy checks can keep her safe. You should also think about having a caregiver to check on her every few days. Caregivers offer companionship, help with daily activities of living, and transportation. Learn more