Winterizing Your Home the Roman Polanski Way

Last Updated Dec 5, 2009 7:02 AM EST

As you know unless you happen to live on the moon, film director Roman Polanski, who is wanted in the U.S. for skipping out on charges of sex with a 13-year-old girl, has been moved to house arrest in Gstaad, a fancy European ski town that's like the Swiss precursor of Aspen. He'll have the run of his three-story home, named "Milky Way," though if he leaves the garden of the property or disables his electronic ankle bracelet, he'll forfeit $4.5 million bail.

Here's a video report from CBS's Elizabeth Palmer that shows what Roman Polanski's three-story chalet looks like.

In order to prepare for what can best be described as Polanski's extended stay on the property, workers both governmental and seemingly private have been swarming around. Let's take from them some winterizing tips:

1) Stock up on your supply of fuel. The chalet -- which has multiple fireplaces if the multiple chimneys that appear in photos are any indication -- boasts a lean-to with split firewood stacked up ready for use. If you're a fireplace person, you want to do this as well, checking the wood thoroughly to make sure that you're not bringing bugs inside the house. Oil heat people, it's time to fill the tanks.

2) Don't forget fire safety. I guess because they were concerned about possible arson-type vandalism, the local government checked the hydrant in Polanski's garden to make sure that water was flowing okay. Leaving aside the thought that it's a pretty big house that needs a hydrant in the garden, you can adapt this to your hopefully smaller home by making sure that your chimneys are swept (local firefighters will often do this on the side if there's no one in your yellow pages under "chimney sweep) and that your smoke detectors are working. Also, be sure you have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, because you never know which one of the paparazzi is going to throw a stray cigarette.

3) Shovel your drive. A worker has cleared the driveway in front of Polanski's garage -- which, much like in a typical American split-level, connects to the chalet. Someone who can afford a few million in bail money can probably afford to go out and buy himself some rock salt, but the fact is, it's bad for driveways. And back for bricks, stone, etc. Try to use it sparingly, and instead physically remove as much snow as possible. On the plus side, that's a calorie burner -- just go slowly if you've been sedentary for awhile.

If you'd like more tips on winterizing, check out this really helpful list of 10 home winterizing tips from's Elizabeth Weintraub. Just be aware, not all of them are fugitive-approved.

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  • Alison Rogers

    Since graduating from Harvard summa cum laude, Alison Rogers has been a reporter, an editor, a real-estate agent, a Wall Street desk jockey, a columnist, a failed flipper, and a landlady. A member of the National Association of Realtors, she currently sells and rents luxury co-ops in Manhattan for the Chelsea-based firm DG Neary. (If you've got $27,500 a month, the firm has an apartment for you!) Her book, Diary of a Real Estate Rookie, was called "a valuable guide for rookie buyers" by AOL/Walletpop, "beach-read fun" by the New York Observer, and "witty" by Newsweek.