Snow Safety Tips

Posted by on Oct 11, 2012 in Winter Tips | Comments Off on Snow Safety Tips

Winter is a time of year when hazards, both natural and man-made, can place you at risk in a moment of forgetfulness. Even you, the infallible homeowner — queen of the castle, king of the tool belt — may be taking risks of which you’re not even aware.

You may have heard the term “black ice” to describe that near-invisible sheen covering your front step and walkway. “Black ice” is a poor term to describe something you can’t see until you slide and break a leg on it or even hit your head on a hard surface after taking a fall. Even worse, those spots place seniors at risk for very serious injury, including a broken hip.

If you’re unsure about whether or not the sidewalk is slippery, walk slowly and cautiously with your feet pointing outward. This position actually helps you brace yourself better, and it helps protect you to some degree in the event that you slip and fall.  Also, proceed with caution when walking across your front yard; it may be frozen, which will cause you to slip and fall faster than you can say “ouch.”

The National Safety Council recommends taking the following precautions on potentially slippery surfaces:

· Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes or boots outside. Instead, wear flat shoes with slip resistant soles or rain/snow boots; both of these provide you with some degree of traction.

· As stated above, take short, flat steps. The heels and soles of your shoes keep contact with the ground as long as possible, providing you with maximum surface contact.

· Before heading indoors, shake your umbrella outdoors; and once inside, remove your shoes. Snow and ice often stick to the soles of shoes and will melt almost immediately as your shoes begin to warm up. The result is a slippery surface and the risk of a fall.