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Tips to Prevent Falls during Icy, Wet Conditions

Falls on wet or ice-covered surfaces are common during the winter months. Even when practicing safe walking habits, slipping on ice is sometimes unavoidable.


Columbus Fire Department spokesman Capt. Michael Wilson says as temperatures rise, travel and outdoor activity will increase. Wilson urges you to take your time when walking outdoors. If you encounter a fall victim, tell them to remain still. Injuries to the head, neck and spine should be taken very seriously. The Columbus Fire Department would like to share these prevention tips to reduce the risk of falls when slippery conditions exist:


Building entrances may be slippery due to melting snow.


Wear boots or overshoes with soles. Avoid walking in shoes that have smooth surfaces, which increase the risk of slipping.


Walk consciously. Be alert to the possibility that you could quickly slip on an unseen patch of ice. Avoid the temptation to run to catch a bus or beat traffic when crossing a street.


Walking on mounded snow, which may be frozen, can cause a fall.


Walk cautiously. Your arms help keep you balanced, so keep hands out of pockets and avoid carrying heavy loads that may cause you to become off balance.


Walk "small." Avoid an erect, marching posture. Look to see ahead of where you step.


When you step on icy areas, take short, shuffling steps, curl your toes under and walk as flatfooted as possible.


Remove snow immediately before it becomes packed or turns to ice. Keep your porch landings, steps, walks and driveways free of ice by frequently applying ice melt granules. This is the best way to prevent formation of dangerous ice patches. Waiting for it to melt can sometimes take days.

Last Updated: Thursday, January 09, 2014 11:22:43 AM

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