What are some winter safety tips I can use in a newsletter to tenants?

A Winter Newsletter is a good way to provide tenants with helpful winter safety and maintenance tips that can help keep the rental premises in good condition and more energy efficient.

The newsletter might provide tips such as having the tenant:

  • Inspect the rental unit for blocked or closed vents in living spaces. A heating vent could be blocked if furniture has been placed over or against the vent.
  • Open any register vents or air returns inside the living spaces in the house. Vents may be wall mounted, in the floor or in the ceiling.
  • Reverse the direction of ceiling fans to rotate clockwise to help circulate warm air that gathers near the ceiling. This will push the warm air down to lower areas.
  • Keep the kitchen sink and bathroom vanity cabinet doors open so warmer air can circulate around pipes to prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Use the exhaust fan above the stove when cooking.
  • Run the exhaust fan in the bathroom during and after a shower to reduce moisture in the rental unit.
  • Help reduce cold air drafts from entering living spaces at doorways or window sills by placing draft dodgers along bottoms of exterior doors and in window sills. Windows should be kept shut and locked.
  • Replace furnace air filters on a regular schedule.
  • Avoid using unventilated and unattended space heaters.
  • Never using cooking stoves to heat living spaces.
  • Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors regularly.
  • Keep the heat on at the premise. Heat should be kept at a minimum of 55° at all times during the winter season. Do not turn off the heat at the property when leaving for holidays or taking a vacation during expected cold periods.
  • Keep kitchen and bathroom warm water faucets slowly dripping to prevent pipes from freezing if the outside temperature is expected to fall below 20°.
  • Know where the main water shut-off valve is located. If a water pipe bursts, shutting the valve could help minimize water damage.
  • Don’t overload electrical circuits with multiple devices such as holiday decorations or space heaters.
  • Be alert to potential fire hazards and know the planned exit routes in case of fire.
  • Drain hose bibs and turn off outside water spigots.
  • Prepare an emergency kit in the event of an extended power outage or severe weather conditions which would necessitate a shelter in place situation.
  • Notify the landlord if the tenant plans an extended absence from the rental unit, such as holiday travel.

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