Winter is here, snow is in the forecast and it's time to have a shovel and/or snow blower on the ready to clear each new fresh snow.
Removing snow greatly increases the potential for injury. People hurt their backs, slip on ice, break bones, tear muscles, suffer from hypothermia and more. Snow removal can also increase the chance to have a heart attack, especially if one has high blood pressure or cardiac problems. If one is at a higher risk for a heart attack, they should always check with their doctor before shoveling.
By following a few simple guidelines, one can increase their chances to stay safe this winter season.
- Before one heads out to shovel, they should be sure to stretch out their muscles for a few minutes.
- Stay away from caffeinated beverages since caffeine increases the heart rate. Instead, drink water to avoid dehydration. Avoid smoking since this constricts blood vessels.
- Try to shovel as soon as the snow ends before it hardens. When shoveling, stand with one leg in front of the other and bend at the knees to avoid back injuries. Be sure to shovel equally between the right and left sides.
- If there's a lot of ice, break it apart with a sidewalk scraper or use an ice melt on it to improve traction before trying to shovel.
- When using a snow blower for deep snow events, make several passes during the storm to help avoid clogs and potential injuries. Allow the blower to do the work and never force the blower. In the unfortunate event of a clog, turn off the blower completely before attempting to clear the clog. Always aim the blower away from cars, windows and people. Don't blow snow into the street. Try to avoid blowing areas if there are rocks, gravel or mulch.
- Be sure to protect the snow blower before storing it away after the winter season ends by using a gas stabilizer. Stabilizers help keep gas fresh and can extend the life of your gas from 12 to 15 months. When a stabilizer is added to gas it helps protect equipment by stopping corrosion, rust, gumming and residue. It also helps prevent oxidation and contamination. A gas stabilizer can usually be purchased at auto parts stores or home improvement stores. We recommend Seafoam for a best quality gas stabilizer.