As the weather starts to get colder, it is a good time to remind you to winterize your property. Whether you are a full time resident or you own a second home in Big Bear, it is a good idea to make sure you do all you can to prevent frozen pipes, leaks or any damage from heavy snow. Here are a few easy steps to make sure your home is protected:

-Clean out the gutters.  This will help in the preventing ice dams that can ruin your roofing and cause leaks.

-Keep your heater on!  Set your thermostat between 50-60 degrees, any lower and your pipes could freeze!

-Protect your plumbing.  To protect against frozen pipes consider insulating those that are susceptible to the cold. Open cabinets under the sinks to make sure that warm air is able to reach the pipes and prevent them from freezing. If your home is vacant, turn off the water at the stop and waste & drain your pipes.

-Put away your garden hose. Remove all hoses that are attached to the house for the winter. Hoses with water left in them can freeze and damage your pipes.

-Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  A buildup of gasses from a faulty heater or fireplace can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

-Shovel off your deck and keep your gas meter cleared off.  Snow is heavy and can cause a deck to collapse if there is enough of it.

-Prepare for power outtages.  Make sure you have flashlights, candles and battery phone chargers in case of weather-related blackouts.

-Have your chimney swept before your first winter use to make sure it is clear of debris and buildup.

-Use weather stripping around doors and windows that might have a gap. This will reduce your energy bills and stop cold air from getting in.