HARTFORD – When brutally cold weather hits, the calls increase for help at home and from power outages to bursting pipes, it means all hands on deck for those in the line of fixing.
Travelers Insurance is super busy this time of year.
Insurance claims for weather incidents are some of the most common cause of damages, according to recent Travelers homeowners claim data.
Scott Humphrey, second vice president of risk control at Travelers, said it’s important to pay attention to the impact the weather can have on your home.
Humphrey said water-related issues made up 11 percent of insurance claims over the last few years, including things such as roof/flashing leak-related losses, freezing (i.e. pipes freezing and bursting) and ice dam-related losses.
He recommends you check your pipes and insulate them so they don’t freeze and burst.
To avoid water damage, make sure you know where to shut off your water and the location of pipes if they do freeze.
Humphrey also recommends you set your heat no lower than 55 degrees. In order to keep an even temperature around the house, make sure you open cabinets under sinks and doors of unoccupied rooms.
The company also recommends you prepare for a power outage with: fully charged cell phones, flashlights, batteries, first aid kits and other emergency supplies.
If you do lose power, to keep pipes from freezing, Travelers recommends you let water trickle out of faucets.
And if that happens, it’s all hands on deck for Eversource crews.
Line workers are ready to brave the cold to make sure customers have electricity, but there are challenges they face.
“When its 3 in the morning and all men are on call, it’s a blizzard, you don’t have any power and you’re trying to change a transformer you can’t see, that’s when mother nature gets the best of you,” lineworker John Pettway says. “You can’t come down because you have a job to do, people are out of power and you do the best to get your power back up.”
Pettway says the crews often work in pairs to assure safety.
“There’s no eraser in this trade,” he said. “It could be hectic and dangerous at the same time.”
For more winter storm safety tips click here.