The season of cold, ice, and snow is upon us, and that can cause a variety of risks to older adults in and around the home.

Our product testers and home maintenance experts have tips for prepping your home the right way to help safeguard your health plus advice on the tools you should have on hand.

Reduce falls outside–stock up on ice-melt which can help make slippery stairs, front walks, and driveways safer.

Do a Heating checkup–make sure your heating system is in good working order

Check the detectors–Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors, if you haven’t done so in the past year, and use your vacuum hose with the brush attachment to pull out cobwebs or dust that might interfere with the sensors.

Be savvy about generators–Thinking about buying a backup generator? Try to do so before the bad weather hits so that you have time to have it properly connected to your home’s electrical system and know how to use it safely.

Use space heaters wisely–Older adults may need extra assistance keeping warm in the winter, and a space heater can help if you choose right and use it safely.

Keep air pollutants at bay–Exposure to air pollution has been linked to heart disease, lung disease, cancer, and even bone density loss. Refrain from burning candles and using your fireplace, ban smoking indoors.

Source: Consumer Reports on Health October 2018 Jim Nanni is associate director of appliance testing at Consumer Reports. He holds a Professional Engineering license and is knowledgeable about all major home subsystems and major and minor appliances