As the weather gets colder, snow boots, hats, jackets and scarves are dug out of the closet to help keep us warm from winter’s frosty grip. Despite our best efforts, and perhaps in our haste, we can overlook the ice that has formed on the street or the steps outside our home. The following are some tips to make sure you and your loved ones are safe from the perils of ice.
Evaluate What’s at Stake
There are two things to be cautious about when it comes to ice:
- Slips and falls
Slipping on ice is a serious threat to people of all ages. The most frequent injuries are dislocation of the wrist, ankle, or shoulder. For the elderly, the effects can be fatal or result in a costly and life-lasting injury.
As a property owner, it is considered your duty to take reasonable measures to maintain areas affected by ice. The failure to promptly remove snow and ice can result in the injury of an individual on your property, which can also result in a lawsuit. In this case a good home insurance, co-op/renters insurance, or umbrella policy would protect you from a devastating lawsuit.
- Remove the snow first, to reveal ice.
- Chip or shovel the larger chucks of ice – salt will take a very long time to melt large pieces so make sure you’ve chipped away as much as possible before using salt.
- Salt or use an ice melter for whatever is remaining.
Pedestrian Safety Tips
- Use caution.
Some areas can look devoid of ice but looks can be deceiving. It’s possible that there is hard to see “Black Ice” on the floor that one can easily slip on.
- Take your hands out of your pockets.
In case you do slip, it’s better to risk breaking a wrist than fracturing your skull when you hit the floor.
- Ski poles!
These can be great to gauge how slippery and area is and if lodged in snow correctly can keep you standing if you slip on ice beneath.
- Walk slow.
If you know you’re navigating some tricky ice, just bend your knees and proceed slowly and cautiously.
- Wear thick clothing.
It may help break your fall. You can also guarantee you’re warm in the cold weather!
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