Tips for Staying Safe during the Winter Season
Winter brings colder temperatures, icy conditions, and flu season, so it is especially important to take safety precautions when going out or working from home. Whether you’re commuting to work or spending most of your time at home, there are certain measures you can take to ensure that you stay safe this winter. This article shares some tips and reminders about the most common seasonal challenges.
Cold Weather Commuting
When commuting to work in winter weather, it’s important to be aware of potential hazards on the road and to be prepared for unexpected traffic issues. Before getting into the car, be sure your vehicle is road-worthy; don’t rush off before the windshields are cleared and defrosted. Give yourself a generous cushion of time, as visibility can be significantly reduced during wintry conditions. Avoid cruise control, and if you must make a call, keep it hands-free so that you can give your full attention to the road conditions. Commuters should also ensure that they have all-weather tires, a shovel, a first aid kit, extra water and snacks, jumper cables, flashlights, and blankets in case of any unexpected delays or stoppages.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Ice, ice, baby. Sometimes it’s black ice, and sometimes it’s hidden underneath a thin layer of snow. You’ll want to wear shoes with good traction and be cautious when walking in slippery conditions. Consider non-slip mats around exits and entries, hold on to railings, and ensure walkways and entrances are well-lit.
Working from Home? Things to Think About
Space heaters can be an efficient way to keep your home warm during winter, but they must be used safely. Make sure to place your space heater on a level and fireproof surface, like a piece of tile or on a concrete floor that does not allow the heater to tilt. Always keep children and pets away from the space heater, as it can cause serious burns and fires. Never leave a space heater unattended, as it can overheat or cause a fire if left running for long periods. Ensure that any extension cords used with the space heater are rated for use with the correct wattage, and do not cover the cord with blankets or rugs. Lastly, always remember to unplug and store your space heater when not in use for optimal safety.
Prepare for Temporary Outages
Power outages can be especially inconvenient in severe weather. Make sure you have a flashlight, extra batteries, and candles or other forms of lighting handy, so you won’t have to stumble around in total darkness. Keep extra blankets around the house should the temperature drop. It’s also a good idea to have some sort of food reserves on hand in case you need them during a prolonged power outage – canned goods and non-perishable snacks are great options. Finally, if you don’t have a good surge protection system, you may want to unplug electronics to avoid damage when the power comes back on.
Flu and RSV, another respiratory virus that especially affects children, have hit harder and earlier than usual this season after the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the past two seasons and people have cut back on prevention measures. Covid-19 is still a thing, too, with variants still floating around and making people sick.
Aside from vaccines and masks, here’s a reminder of those habits we embraced:
- Avoid close contact. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose.
- Wash your hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Practice other good health habits, such as getting plenty of rest, exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, and drinking plenty of fluids.
Winter is an incredibly beautiful time of year, but it can also pose safety risks if you’re not prepared. Taking a few extra steps at home to ensure your safety will go a long way in keeping yourself and your loved ones safe.
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