We created our Winter Maintenance Checklist to help you stay on track each season. Using them can help you avoid common (and costly) risks at your properties such as injuries caused by unstable decks and damage caused by dead trees. If you haven’t already, be sure to change those smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector batteries.

Remove dead trees and trim healthy trees & bushes back from utility wires.

Hire a licensed and insured professional to trim dead branches and cut down large trees. In addition to preventing damage to the house, a clean yard deters thieves.

Repair cracked, broken, or uneven driveways, walkways, and stairs.

The expansion and contraction caused by freezing and thawing can lead to significant damage to exterior walkways. If kept unchecked, these hazards can cause slips and falls. Be sure you specify in your lease who is responsible for clearing walkways and driveways of ice and snow.

Winterize all water systems

Drain, disconnect, and store garden hoses. Install a faucet cover to help prevent outdoor faucets from freezing. Drain your sprinkler system and swimming pool pump. Turn off the water and fully drain the plumbing systems of any vacant properties!

Inspect your smoke & carbon monoxide alarms; one should be installed on each floor.

Test alarms monthly. Change the batteries twice a year or more frequently as needed. Ensure tenants do not disconnect or remove the alarms.

Make sure your multipurpose fire extinguisher is full & properly pressurized.

Store the extinguisher in an accessible location and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for routine maintenance.

Remind your tenants to:

Use caution in the kitchen – cooking is the leading cause of house fires.

Never leave anything you are cooking unattended. Water spreads grease fires – put a lid on the pan to smother the fire or use a multi‐purpose fire extinguisher. Keep potholders and other flammable items away from open flames. Install a fire suppression system such as StoveTop FireStop.

Keep dryer exhaust vents free of blockages and clean the lint screen frequently.

Dust and lint can easily ignite. Heavier clothing like sweaters and jeans can cause more lint build‐up so lint screens and vents will need to be cleaned more often during cooler seasons.

Place space heaters at least 3 feet from anything that can burn.

All space heaters should have a working automatic shut‐off in the event the heater gets tipped over. Always plug the space heater directly into an outlet (not an extension cord). Also, it is not safe to use the oven to heat the house.

Make sure all electrical and extension cords are in good condition before use.

Frayed cords with exposed wires are a major fire hazard, especially with holiday lights hung on Christmas trees and other decorations. Extension cords are meant for temporary use only. Don’t overload outlets with too many cords.

Secure the metal fireplace screen to keep logs and sparks in the proper place.

Also, cooled ashes should be disposed of in a covered metal container stored at least 10 feet from the home.

Downloadable Winter Maintenance Checklist