Winter can be a dangerous time. Emergency room visits escalate during the cold winter months with reports of slips, falls, strains and sprains and even broken bones skyrocketing. According to statistics, more than a million people are treated for slips and falls every year in the U.S. alone. From 1990-2006, nearly 200,000 Americans were treated for shoveling injuries. With statistics this astounding, it’s time you learned how to stay safe this winter!
Protect Yourself & Your Family
Don’t let the cold, snow and sleet send you to the emergency room this winter. Learn how to protect yourself and your family from seasonal injuries:
- Secure Water Features. If you have a garden pond or swimming pool, then be sure to close them off securely. Every year more than 700 children under the age of 14 die in accidental drownings. Some of these deaths occur when children fall into landscaping ponds and pools right in their backyard. While most people are diligent about watching for these water dangers during the summer months, few think about them when it’s cold outside. The best way to protect your children is to securely cover any water features on your property during the winter months.
- Stay Warm. It’s an iconic scene. The mother in A Christmas Story layers her son so thickly that he can’t even put his arms down to walk to school. We laugh at the absurdity, but the fact is that mother had it right. More than 1,300 people die in the U.S. alone of hypothermia. Many of these victims never even realized they were in trouble until it was too late. While you may not have to layer up like Randy was in the movie, be sure to stay warm during colder weather.
- Drink Plenty of Water. Few people think about dehydrating when it’s freezing outside, but the fact is that you need to drink just as much when outdoors during cold temperatures as you do when it’s hot outside.
- Keep Walkways and Driveways Clear of Ice and Snow. According to OSHA, more than a million people will seek medical treatment for slips and falls this year. Some of those tumbles can be very serious or even life-threatening. Lower your risk of a fall by keeping your walkways and driveway clear of ice and snow. Shovel often and use this quick tip for keeping asphalt from freezing — use rock salt on surfaces when the temperature is between 15-32 degrees. Anything colder and you’ll need calcium chloride (de-icer). Sand also works well to offer traction and to help keep ice from freezing on cold surfaces.
Protect Your Plumbing
Your home’s water lines are very susceptible to cold weather damage. That’s why it is so important to be diligent about wintertime maintenance. So how can you protect your plumbing from leaks and ruptures?
- Disconnect hoses (including splitters and connectors) to avoid trapping water inside them.
- Fix all leaks (even small ones). Cold temperatures are only going to make them worse!
- Drain as much water from outside pipes as possible.
- Insulate! This can help protect both indoors and outdoors pipes and faucets from freezing.
Protect Your Landscaping
The harsh winds, snow, sleet and frigid temperatures can wreak havoc with your lawn. Even if you live in a warmer region, winter comes with increased rains, storms and wind. Be sure to protect those trees and shrubs by having the professionals at Meyers Green Services come out to trim and secure your landscaping before winter hits.
Are you ready for winter? If you’re not sure, call the experts at Meyers Green Services to help you prepare your home for the cold months ahead.