December .16 .2013

Avoiding Winter Slips and Falls

Did you know that falls are a leading cause of hospitalization in BC?

Vancouver Coastal Health offers winter weather slip and fall prevention advice:

  • Wear appropriate footwear for slippery sidewalks and stairs.
  • Dress warmly. Being cold might cause you to hurry or tense your muscles, both of which can affect your balance.
  • Stay active. Overall fitness is important in preventing falls and getting around safely.
  • Store salt and shovels indoors to avoid slipping while on your way to the shed to get it.
  • Shovel your walkway to keep steps and pathways clear. Check railings and ensure they are sturdy.
  • Slow down and take short steps with your feet pointed slightly outward. This will help keep your center of balance under you and provide a stable base for support.
  • Be careful getting out of your vehicle. Swing your legs around and place both feet on the ground before you attempt to stand. Steady yourself on the door frame until you have gained your balance.
  • Don't take shortcuts. Always use sidewalks and the cleared paths in parking lots. Never walk between parked cars. Be especially careful when stepping up or down.
  • Limit what you carry.

I was recently asked by News 1130 about homeowner responsibilities in winter weather. It's important to clear hazards around your home to avoid liability in case of an accident. Rake leaves, shovel snow, and salt walkways. Also ensure your third-party liability home insurance is in order and up-to-date.

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