Winter weather can be very serious. Several parts of the United States regularly experience freezing temperatures and large amounts of snow every winter. This kind of weather may look pretty in photos, but it can be dangerous to have to live in and deal with. Here are some winter safety tips that can help keep you, and your family, safe this winter.
Snow Removal Safety
The National Safety Council (NSC) has some safety tips regarding snow removal. They advise that people who are over the age of 40, and who are relatively inactive, should be especially careful when shoveling snow. Those who have heart trouble should not shovel snow (unless they have a doctor’s permission to do so).
It might be best to have a younger, healthier, adult shovel the snow. The NSC recommends that people take it slow and pace themselves. Shoveling snow is a very physical activity, so you should stretch out and warm up before beginning. Lift with your legs bent, and keep your back straight. If you find that you have run out of breath – it’s time to take a break!
Keep Your Home Warm
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has tips for keeping your home safe and warm in the winter. They recommend that you install weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows. Doing so well help prevent the heat from leaking out. Not only will this help keep your home warm, it will also lower your heating bill.
Get your heating systems checked. Have a professional take a look at your furnace and make sure it is working properly. Do you have a fireplace? It is recommended that you have that checked by a professional, too. It needs to be inspected and cleaned. Both fireplaces and furnaces need to be checked to make sure they are properly ventilated to the outside.
Now is a good time to make sure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working. Test the batteries monthly.
Winterize your Vehicle
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has advice for winterizing your vehicle. Take your vehicle to a mechanic and have him or her check the antifreeze level, the exhaust system, the fuel and air filters, the heater and defroster, the oil, thermostat and, of course, the brakes.
If you live somewhere that gets a lot of snow, it is recommended that you install good winter tires on your vehicles. Some vehicles may need chains or snow tires with studs. They also recommend that people minimize travel. In other words, if you don’t have to be driving in the snow, stay home!
Image by Anthony Quintano on Flickr.