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Don’t Let Icy Decks (or Stairs or Walkways) Give You the Slip – Frosty Weather Can Still Cause Havoc

As winter weather makes it presence known, it doesn’t necessarily take a blizzard to make conditions in the Pacific Northwest hazardous.

With so many of us working or going to school at home, it’s especially important to take precautions around the house. Freezing nighttime temperatures combined with moisture on decks, stairs and walkways, can result in icy conditions that can quickly give you the slip. Keep yourself upright by following these tips:

Use extra caution when conditions gets frosty.
  • If you can, stay indoors until conditions improve.
  • Prevent ice from forming with ice melt. Sprinkle an even layer on outside stairs, decks and walkways when the forecast calls for low overnight temperatures. Ice melt is considered a safer option around children and pets.
  • If ice has already formed, use rock salt or de-icer, to cut through what is there. De-icer begins melting ice as soon as it is applied but loses effectiveness in sub-freezing temperatures.
  • If the weather catches you by surprise and you or your pets must go out, spread sand or kitty litter to create traction and help prevent slipping. It doesn’t melt the ice, but it can provide extra grip.
  • Before stepping out, consider covering steps or ramps with a non-skid runner.
  • Wear proper footwear – rubber or neoprene composite soles provide better traction than leather or plastic.
  • Add traction cleats or ice grips onto the bottom of your shoes. These items go by many names, depending on brand and manufacturer.
  • Take small steps and walk carefully. Avoid a rigid or marching posture.
  • Keep your hands out of your pockets and avoid carrying heavy loads.
  • When entering or exiting a vehicle, hold onto the vehicle for support.
Consider adding ice cleats over your shoes to prevent slipping on ice.

Just a little advanced planning and forethought can greatly reduce your change of slipping up when it comes to icy weather. Stay safe out there!