The volunteer brigades in your area not only turn out for fire, but for all manner of emergencies, many of which are brought about by inclement weather. As we bask in the late autumn sunshine and enjoy the last of the good weather, it is worth using some of this good weather to future-proof yourselves for when the bad weather rolls into town.
Firstly, have your chimneys swept before lighting your first fire. In my younger years I swept chimneys as a part-time money earner. It was common for chimneys to be blocked with birds nests in the flue or chimney, where birds had decided to create a new home over the summer months. Not only will it prevent your fire from drawing properly, but it is a fire risk to your house if it were to catch alight.
Autumn leaves have been falling for weeks and many come to rest in gutters and drains, blocking spouting or drains. If water can’t go where it is meant to, then it will go somewhere else. Maybe into your house via soffits, walls or doorways. Debris needs to be cleaned out pronto. If your property has a sump pump, check it’s working! Don’t wait until the weather hits. None of us want to be sloshing around in our parkas and gummies in the rain. As an aside, if you have doorways or garages that could flood, have a few sandbags handy to place strategically if under immediate threat. It doesn’t need to be heavy sugar sacks, but just a few shopping bags with a shovel full of sand could be sufficient. They can be left out of sight in a corner of the garage or shed and brought out if the need arises. They can be easily placed to prevent egress of water into your property.
Finally, trees with loose limbs or branches that could come down in wind should be trimmed before being placed under the stress of strong winter winds, particularly if they threaten your house or vehicles. Maybe the wood can then be put aside for next winter!