At Carter Mario Law Firm, we take pride in being trustworthy legal representatives for the wrongfully injured in our community. But we are also proud to do our part in helping keep people safe from day-to-day hazards by sharing safety tips in our blog. With the frost on the grass and leaves again in many parts of the country, we are once again turning our attention to winter safety, which we have touched upon a few times before (such as car winter safety hacks and winter slip and fall safety). Let’s keep up the trend with five more winter safety tips that everyone should know.
- Winter home preparation: Right now (in January 2022), a huge swath of the Upper Midwest and Northeast of the country is experiencing bitter cold and record-shattering temperature drops. For many people, staying home is the only option to avoid a dangerous chill, so it is important to know that your home is up to keeping the winter out. If you can, invest in insulated and weather-proofed windows, which are often the greatest source of heat loss in a home. Insulated water lines can also greatly reduce the chances of ice forming in the pipes and causing a flood as the lines burst. Lastly, keep your gutters clear of debris. Gutters need to quickly drain away water, or else the water in them can freeze and damage the gutter and roof.
- Vehicle winter emergency kit: In early January 2022, drivers on I-95 in Virginia got stuck in a wintry traffic jam for more than 24 hours. Although no injuries were reported due to emergency crews being able to reach people and provide them with supplies or take them to a warmer location nearby, the situation was harrowing all the same. You never know when your car could be part of a multiday traffic jam in subzero temperatures. Make a winter emergency kit for your vehicle now. It should include at least coats and blankets, nonperishable food, water, booster cables, a flashlight, a battery-powered radio, and a first-aid kit.
- Check your wardrobe: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone who lives in a wintry area keep extras of winter clothes in the closet. You should have warm jackets, boots, mittens, and scarves for everyone in your family, as well as a few more of each. With extras on hand, you can be ready in case someone loses an article of clothing, a piece gets damaged, or a winter night is especially frigid.
- Install CO monitors: Carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the most dangerous risks in the winter that mostly goes unnoticed and overlooked. Fireplaces, generators, and certain space heaters can all generate carbon monoxide (CO) when used. If they are defective or placed incorrectly, the CO can enter the home and put everyone inside in immediate danger. Install CO monitors and alarms at key areas around your home, especially near potential sources of CO and in each bedroom.
- Take it slow when working outdoors: During extreme cold, you can experience a dramatic change in your blood pressure as your circulatory system constricts and works overtime due to the chill. This change in blood pressure is normally not much of an issue, but it can be a problem if you are exerting yourself, like when you shovel snow. To avoid a higher risk of a heart attack while working in the snow, be sure to take it slow and easy. Pay attention to what your body is telling you and go inside to rest if you feel short of breath, fatigued, or achy.