Unlike last year, the 2013/2014 Winter Season has been brutal. Extreme cold, record wind chills and snow and
ice even down...
Keeping Kids Safe
(cont. from cover story )
n	 Wear bright, reflective clothing 	

	
	

even during the day so you stand 	...
A Word About Space Heaters
Due to the rising costs on heating oil and natural gas, many
residents in the winter months rel...
There’s nothing more
beautiful than a fresh blanket
of new-fallen snow…
unless of course, you’re
driving in it.

Winter Dr...
front wheels to go. Use gentle, steady motions when turning the steering wheel. Turning too much or 		
	 	 	oo fast may ca...
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SecurAlert February 2014 - Winter Weather Slip & Falls

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It looks as though global warming has taken a vacation to make room for Old Man Winter. This issue focuses on winter safety, “Slip and falls are the most frequent type of injuries in the winter and stem from people not walking properly on slick surfaces.”

Please feel free to share with your colleagues, friends and family.

Stay warm and safe.

Regards,


Chris Carney
SecurAmerica, LLC
860.293.0833 office
203.306.6013 mobile
ccarney@securamericallc.com

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SecurAlert February 2014 - Winter Weather Slip & Falls

  1. 1. Unlike last year, the 2013/2014 Winter Season has been brutal. Extreme cold, record wind chills and snow and ice even down south has been unprecedented. And long range forecasts indicate that Punxsutawney Phil will stay in his ground hog’s lair for another six weeks! Walk Safely – Walk Like a Penguin! No matter how well snow, ice and water are removed from parking lots, roadways, sidewalks and other surfaces, pedestrians may still encounter some slippery surfaces when walking outdoors in the winter. Here’s how you avoid a fall and a potentially serious injury: n In cold temperatures, approach “Slips and falls are the most frequent type of injuries in the Winter and stem from people not walking properly on slick surfaces.” with caution and assume that all wet, dark areas on pavements are slippery and icy. n When walking on very slippery surfaces, point your feet out slightly like a penguin! This will increase your center of gravity. Bend slightly and walk flat-footed with your center of gravity over your feet as much as possible. Extend your arms out from your sides to help balance you. n Use special care when entering and exiting vehicles; use the vehicle for support. Sit in your vehicle first; then bring your legs inside. This will help prevent you from slipping and falling out of your vehicle. n Walk in designated walkways as much as possible. Taking short cuts over snow piles and other frozen areas can be hazardous. Look ahead when you walk; a snow or ice-covered sidewalk or driveway, especially if on a hill, may require walking along its grassy edge for traction or worst case, if a sidewalk or road is covered in ice, walk in the snow – even ice-covered snow will give you some traction. n Never walk in streets that are icy and snow-covered. You could be struck by a skidding vehicle. If you have to walk in a roadway, walk against the traffic so you can see what’s coming and stay as close to the curb as possible.
  2. 2. Keeping Kids Safe (cont. from cover story ) n Wear bright, reflective clothing even during the day so you stand out against the snow. n During snowy and icy weather, avoid boots or shoes with smooth soles and heels. Instead, wear shoes or boots that provide traction on snow and ice; boots made of non-slip rubber or neoprene with grooved soles are best. n Keep your hands out of your pockets. Hands in your pockets while walking decreases your center of gravity and balance. You can help break your fall with your hands free if you do start to slip. n Watch where you are stepping and… GO S-L-O-W-L-Y !! Take short steps or shuffle for stability. n Wear a heavy, bulky coat that will cushion you if you should fall and gloves so you don’t scrape your hands on hard snow, ice and pavement. n If you feel yourself falling try to avoid landing on your knees, wrists, or spine. Try to fall on a fleshy part of your body, such as your side. Try to relax your muscles if you fall. You’ll injure yourself less if you are relaxed. Here are some tips to keep kids safe: n Winter is a great time for kids but it offers some new and serious dangers for them as they play in the snow. n Always make sure they wear hats and gloves when playing outdoors in cold weather; the biggest proportions of body heat are lost through the head and hands. n Limit the amount of time spent playing outdoors to safe inter- vals, and bring children inside periodically to warm up. n Remove all wet clothing immediately and change to dry clothes if going back outdoors. n Do not permit children to play outdoors in poor weather such as snowstorms, extreme cold or high winds. n Do not dress children in winter wear with drawstrings - they can cut off circulation and make frostbite a greater threat, and loose drawstrings may present a strangulation hazard. n Teach children to avoid playing near snowplow areas. n Do not permit children to dig snow tunnels or forts that may collapse and bury them. n Avoid snowball fights that can lead to injuries from dangerous projectiles. Dress kids in multiple layers to play outside, including extra layers for legs, feet and hands.
  3. 3. A Word About Space Heaters Due to the rising costs on heating oil and natural gas, many residents in the winter months rely on space heaters to help heat their bedrooms and other living spaces. Unfortunately, space heaters pose a significant fire safety hazard if not properly supervised and used. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 25,000 residential fires every year are caused by space heaters, causing more than 300 deaths. An estimated 6,000 persons receive hospital emergency care for burns associated with space heaters. If you must use a space heater, follow these recommendations: Keep roofs, gutters and awnings free from snow and icicle build up that could collapse and injure a child. Similarly, do not permit children to pull icicles from the roof. n Dress kids in brightly colored outer clothing that is easily seen from a distance. n Teach children never to touch or lick exposed metal (fences, flag poles, etc.) in winter. snow. It may contain pollutants, dirt, fecal matter or other con- taminants, and the cold snow can chill a young child’s body to dangerous levels. n Do not allow children to eat n Regularly de-ice or sand side walks, driveways, patios and other areas where children may play. Purchase only space heaters that are tested and approved by an independent testing lab like Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL). Space heaters should be fully enclosed by design and have no external surfaces that reach temperatures capable of igniting, such as an oil-filled radiant heater. Space heaters should be accessible – never store anything within 3 feet of the unit. The leading cause of space heater fires is the keeping of combustible materials (paper, cloth- ing, towels, bedding, curtains, furniture, etc.) too close to the heater. Make sure the unit has thermostatic controls, an automatic shut-off feature and a “tip over” shut off switch that will turn the unit off if it falls over Always plug a space heater DIRECTLY into an outlet – never use an extension cord or strip plug! Run the power cord so that no one steps on or trips over it NEVER leave a space heater running with a pet or child unattended in the room NEVER use a space heater to dry clothing or other apparel Turn off the heater when you leave the room – unplug it when you leave for the day
  4. 4. There’s nothing more beautiful than a fresh blanket of new-fallen snow… unless of course, you’re driving in it. Winter Driving Safety Winter snow and ice pose special problems for even the most experienced driver. When you’re prepared for winter driving emergencies, you’ll be able to say “let it snow, let it snow, let it snow” – and mean it! n interize your Car. W When the weather turns frosty, prepare your car for the season –get a complete tune-up. Ask your echanic to test brakes, the battery, and the exhaust system. Check fluid levels, add anti-freeze, and m witch to winter-weight oil. Install snow tires on drive wheels, and be sure to carry emergency tools in s our trunk - sand, salt, shovel, chains, snow-scraper/brush, booster cables, blankets and a flashlight. y heck your tire inflation and windshield cleaning fluids frequently. C n repare in the event you are stranded. P The recent snow and ice storm in Atlanta led to incredible images of commuters stuck in gridlock for 20+ ours and many people having to abandon their cars on the highway. If there is any winter weather h arning and you have to drive, make sure you put some non-perishable food in your vehicle (like nutrition w bars) along with bottled water. In addition, gas up the DAY BEFORE any anticipated warnings so you on’t run out of gas if you get stuck in traffic. Some Atlanta gas stations ran out of gas the day of the storm. d n eep your gas tank at least half-full at all times. K his helps reduce moisture problems with your fuel system, prevents the problem of having no gas in a T torm and helps add more weight to your vehicle for better traction. s n hat To Do If You Skid. W The primary problem faced by winter drivers is skidding on slick or icy roadways. If your car should skid, not brake. Instead, take your foot off the accelerator and turn your car in the direction that you want the do
  5. 5. front wheels to go. Use gentle, steady motions when turning the steering wheel. Turning too much or oo fast may cause your vehicle to flip or spin out of control. If your vehicle is equipped with anti-lock t rakes, do not pump the brakes. Apply steady even pressure. b n ever engage your vehicle’s cruise control during poor weather. N This will delay your response in an emergency and distract you from focusing on the conditions at hand. n What to Do If You’re Stuck. n equally common problem is getting stuck in the snow – your wheels spin but your car won’t move. A his is when emergency equipment is most important. Don’t continue to spin your wheels; you’ll only wind T p in a deeper rut or WORSE! Instead, pour sand, salt, or gravel around the wheels to give them something u o grab onto and improve traction. You can also shovel snow away from the wheels and out from under the t to clear a pathway. car n Drive slowly, gently test your brakes frequently and never tailgate. ake sure that windshields (front and rear) are clear and that wipers and defrosters are in good working M ondition. Use low gears when traveling on slick surfaces (especially hills) to give added traction. Listen to c eather forecasts, and if weather and visibility are hazardous, stay home! w n Never use a cell phone when driving on ice and snow. ocus on driving! F n When bad weather strikes, drive like a teenager! R emember when you first learned to drive and what your driver instructor tried to drill into you? Get back t o the basics of driving safety! Keep both hands on the wheel; allow for plenty of space cushioning between y ou and other vehicles; check mirrors frequently; look ahead to anticipate hazards, keep buckled up and d rive BELOW the speed limit during bad weather. n Watch out for “black ice!” hile a shiny road surface indicates an obviously wet or icy road, a road covered with black ice will look W little different. Keep an eye out for pavement that is slightly darker and a little duller looking than the rest a the road surface-- this may indicate that black ice is present. of n And never, never attempt to drive your vehicle until you clear it of snow and ice; his includes ALL windows. Try to also clear snow off of your vehicle’s, hood, roof and trunk so it doesn’t t y off onto other vehicles behind you. fl For more Information about Winter Safety click on the links below: n www.cdc.gov n www.roadandtravel.com n www.kidsource.com n www.homesafetycouncil.org n www.weather.com

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