Winter Preparation to Protect Your Home. Low of 27 tonight. Reminder to put covers on your outdoor spigots.

Good Evening Everyone.  Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving.
This is just a reminder of some important preparations for winter weather.
Please don’t be offended if you consider some or all of this information common sense knowledge.  There are some first time homeowners among us that may not be aware of the safety risks to themselves and neighbors as well as the financial costs they may incur for failing to follow these requirements.
The front and back spigots on all homes should have insulated covers on them by now.  If you are a new homeowner and don’t have them yet, you should be able to pick up two of them for under $10 at Lowe’s.  This time of year, Lowe’s usually keeps them near the front entrance of the store, since so many people come in looking for them.
Following is a link from Consumer Reports with tips to prevent damage from frozen pipes:
If you intend to use your fireplace, please be certain the answer to all of the following questions is YES:
1. Has your fireplace been properly maintained and cleaned by a certified professional assuring that it is in safe condition to burn wood?
2. Are you certain that the wood you are burning is either Oak or Hickory?
3. Is your wood stored on a raised metal rack above ground and at least 5 feet from the building in a space in the common area that has been approved by the Association?
4. Are you certain that a responsible adult will be monitoring the wood and embers until they have completely burned and no longer represent a risk of creating a spark or otherwise igniting any flammable item in the proximity of the fireplace?
Firewood Requirements:
1. If you are unaware of the maintenance status of your fireplace, DO NOT USE it until it has been inspected/cleaned by a certified chimney sweep.
2. ONLY HICKORY AND OAK are approved for burning in fireplaces in Ridgeview.  USE OF PINE IS A VIOLATION OF RIDGEVIEW POLICY and is not permitted to be brought onto the property as firewood at Ridgeview as it creates dangerous, soot build up in flues that can result in fire damage to your home and adjacent homes.  In the past 10 years, two homes caught on fire and the Owners were unable to live in them for about six months.  The fire started in one home, but also displaced the Owner of the adjacent home and destroyed contents in the adjacent home as well.  Therefore, your neighbor must rely on you being a responsible homeowner for their safety, as well as your own.  It is your responsibility to KNOW what kind of wood you are burning and burning unapproved wood would also be considered negligent by our insurance carrier.  If soft wood is used in your fireplace by you or any guest in your home, you would be personally liable for any resulting damage to your home as well as your neighbors home and contents lost.
The following is an excerpt from the article link below:
“Trees like pines, firs, or cypress have “soft” wood, which burns fast, leaves few coals, and makes a lot of smoke that can coat your chimney with soot (not a safe thing in the long run). Seasoned softwood is okay for outdoor fires, but you may want to avoid it if a fireplace is involved…”
3. Storing wood directly on the ground, on a deck, or within 5 feet of any home is a violation of our contract with Terminix.  Such violations void coverage for termite damage.  In such cases, the Association is not responsible for damage due to violation of these policies.  The homeowner becomes personally liable for all damage to their home and adjacent homes due to improperly stored wood.
4. Never leave a fire or hot coals unattended in your home.  Do not start a fire if you do not intend to monitor it until it is fully extinguished.
Although these requirements apply at all times regardless of weather,  NC is currently experiencing less than normal rainfall and warnings have been issued by the state that drought conditions increase the danger of fire ignition.  State Officials have advised everyone to be especially cautious to prevent fires during such conditions.
We hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season!


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