Stay Safe Indoors and Outdoors This Winter
Winter weather is dangerous for individuals in several ways – ice buildup may cause slipping or falling; your property needs just as much maintenance during the cold months as they do during summer to prevent frozen pipes or cracks to the foundation; and reliance on heating systems also pose a hazard. If you haven’t winterized your home yet, it’s not too late.
Continue to keep your home safe this winter by installing weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows. Insulate water lines that run along exterior walls. Clean your gutters and check them after big snowstorms and thunderstorms to prevent blockage. If you’ve already noticed leaks from the roof, get them fixed as soon as possible.
When it comes to safely using heating systems, make sure they are clean, work properly, and vent to the outside. Clean fireplaces and chimneys, or call a professional who has the equipment to do so. Test smoke detectors monthly and also install a carbon monoxide detector. Keep candles, lamps, and other open flames out of reach of children at all times. Do not put a space heater in a nursery or child’s room. Practice family fire drills to ensure everyone knows where to go and what to do in the event of an accident.
Car safety is also crucial during the winter. Unpredictable weather might mean clear skies followed by hail or blizzard conditions in a matter of hours. Your vehicle should also be winterized in case you happen to be on the road when temperatures and precipitation take a turn for the worse. Service the radiator and maintain the antifreeze level. Replace tires with snow tires if you live in a region with constant snowfall. Keep your gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
Prepare an emergency kit to keep in your car in case you get stranded. It should include blankets, food and water, booster cables, flares, a tire pump, and a bag of sand or cat litter for traction, maps and a compass, flashlights, batteries, a battery powered radio, and a first-aid kit from EquipSupply.com. Should you become stranded in the car, stay inside unless safety is within 100 yards, but keep moving your arms and legs. Put a bright cloth on the antenna to stay visible, and raise the hood only once the snow has stopped. Run the engine and heater 10 minutes every hour, and if possible keep a downwind window open.
Finally, when it comes to personal safety individuals who spend time outdoors for work, travel, or sports should dress in layers to ensure their warmth.