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Here are 4 ways to prepare your home for winter weather

An outdoor thermometer shows freezing temperatures.

Taking some precautions now can help you prevent and prepare for potential property damage that can come with freezing weather.

February's deadly winter storm left millions in the dark during lengthy power outages and caused widespread property damage. Here are some ways to prepare your home ahead of cold winter weather.

Drip faucets

As many Texans learned in February, pipes can fall victim to freezing temperatures.

Leaving faucets dripping in your house or apartment can prevent pipes from bursting amid freezing temperatures.

Review insurance policies

If a pipe bursts in your home, it's good to know what your insurance will cover. Now is a good time to review yourhome or renters insurance policy, in case you need to file a claim.

In the wake of February's winter storm, organizations like Lone Star Legal Aid offered assistance to Texans whose insurance claims were denied.

Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

As temperatures drop, many North Texans will be powering up their heaters for the first time in months. Dallas Fire-Rescue Lt. Anthony Jacobs says it's important to make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectorshave fresh batteries.

"It's legitimately the number one way to protect a life in a fire situation," Jacobs said.

If you are a Dallas resident, Dallas Fire-Rescue can assist with smoke detector installations in your house for free. They can also contact your apartment complex to ensure smoke detectors are up to code.

Use space heaters safely

Space heaters can be an affordable solution for those without central heating. They're also involved in about 80% of home heating fire deaths a year, according to the Texas Department of Insurance.

Jacobs encourages people to keep space heaters at a safe distance, at least three feet from anything flammable. He also recommends inspecting heaters before use, and plugging them directly into power outlets instead of extension cords.

Got a tip? Email Solomon Wilson at You can follow Solomon on Twitter @SolomonSeesIt.

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Solomon Wilson is KERA's Marjorie Welch Fitts Louis Fellow. He focuses on covering racial equity, women’s rights, socioeconomic disparities and other evolving issues of social justice in our community.