Leaves are falling and so are the temperatures. Are your communities prepared for colder temperatures? From freezing pipes to slippery sidewalks, cold weather brings with it risks for residents, properties, and your company. Share the following tips with residents to help keep your communities safe this winter.

1). Winterize sprinklers

Remind residents to schedule an appointment early in the season to have their sprinklers blown out rather than waiting until the first freeze. These companies get busy quickly, which can leave homeowners who wait out of luck. Consider developing a partnership with a local sprinkler company to have them come out to your community on a specific day to blow out sprinklers. See if you can negotiate a discounted rate if a certain number of residents to sign up. Providing residents the option to simply sign up to have their sprinklers blow out versus doing the research on their own is a huge convenience that could potentially save them money.

2). Yard clean up

Leaves pile up quickly and can create messy yards once the first snow arrives. Be sure to send out reminders around yard clean up policies to help homeowners avoid fines and maintain a beautiful community. Again, this is a great opportunity to develop a partnership with a local landscape company who handles fall clean up. Encourage residents to take the time to trim branches that could create hazards if a storm brings significant snowfall. To help with fall clean up, consider hosting a leaf recycling day, where homeowners can drop off bagged leaves for pick up.

3). Shovel sidewalks

Remind residents on the importance of keeping their sidewalks safe during winter. Ensure they understand their responsibilities and liabilities compared to what your company is responsible for maintaining. Outline how long they have to shovel after the snowfall is complete before they’ll get fined. If your property management company handles plowing for the community, be sure to send out reminders about parking and snow plow lanes to help homeowners avoid fines.

4). HVAC maintenance

It’s important to ensure HVAC systems are working properly this time of year. Remind residents to have their system tuned up by a professional to catch potential issues before they become problems. Remind residents replace furnace filters every three months, and ensure they have properly functioning carbon dioxide detectors in the house. Also, remind residents to set their thermostat to at least 55 degrees when out of town to avoid frozen pipes.

5). Plan for outages

Power outages are always a threat any time there’s a big storm. Encourage residents to have a box of supplies ready for when the power goes out. Boxes should be stocked with candles, lighters, flashlights, batteries, snacks, and even a fully charged power bank to keep your smartphone charged. Let your residents know where they can find the latest updates surrounding the outage and estimated time of restoration, whether that be email, text messages, or your digital bulletin board.

For additional tips on keeping your community safe, download your copy of our 7 Step Checklist for Securing Your Communities.

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