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Winter Weather Safety Challenges

Winter weather is upon us. Regardless of where we live, we will all most likely be exposed to severe winter weather at some point in our lives. As the weather turns colder, the National Safety Council (NSC) urges Americans to take precautions to stay warm and safe. The Faith Technologies Safety Team encourages you to take safeguards on the job, on the road and at home.

Concerning statistics from the National Safety Council:

  • More than 600 weather-related deaths occur each year, with 25 percent due to temperature extremes
  • On average, 11,500 shoveling injuries require medical treatment each year – more than half from exertion, 20 percent from falls and nearly 7 percent from cardiac problems
  • 50 percent of all home heating fires are reported in December, January and February

Follow these tips to stay safe in severe cold weather:

  • Dress warmly in layers when going outside
  • Remember that extremities, such as the nose, ears, hands and feet, need extra attention
  • Pace yourself when shoveling, and stretch to warm up before you begin
  • Shovel when the snow is freshly fallen – push it as much as possible, rather than lifting
  • Keep all flammable materials away from heat sources, including space heaters
  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually
  • Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors monthly
  • Keep a survival kit in your vehicle, including an ice scraper and wool blanket
  • If you become stranded while driving, don’t leave your car unless you know exactly where you are, how far it is to possible help and are certain you will improve your situation

“Winter weather brings a whole new set of safety challenges both inside and outside of the home,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of NSC. “Planning ahead and making the proper adjustments can keep families safe until temperatures warm back up.”

Take a moment to think about your current winter behaviors and see if there are any you need to modify to keep yourself and your family safe this winter.