November 30 2012
winter safety

Safety This Season

Winter weather takes its toll on grass, trees, plants and animals. But it can also be hazardous even to us humans. We enjoy being out in the cool crisp air and we still need to stay active in the wintertime. We may even need to occasionally do a little bit of yard work and preventive maintenance around the outside of our home during these cold months. So it is important to protect yourself from the elements and prevent wintertime woes.

To stay warm and dry and safe all season, follow these pointers from your friendly neighborhood landscaping and garden business. We are outside a lot—and we know how to deal with snow and ice!

The first tip is simply to dress appropriately—wear enough warm clothes and layers. You can always remove that vest, scarf, hat or gloves but wear them in case you need them. If you are doing outdoor chores, you can get overheated because you’re wearing all these heavy articles of clothing. Rather than take them off, loosen them and just work slowly. Do not exert yourself. Very importantly, avoid getting wet.

When your body is exposed to low temperatures, it loses heat at a faster rate than it can produce heat. Once you’ve been out in the cold for a long time, your body will use up its stored energy. This can lead to a condition called hypothermia which is basically an abnormally low body temperature. If you become wet in cold temperatures, your likelihood of getting hypothermia is increased. So try to get into dry clothes as quickly as possible.

As a rule, you should not exert yourself in cold weather. If you begin to shiver continuously, don’t ignore it. It means your body is losing heat and you need to get back indoors. So if those chores around the lawn, porch, driveway, and roof of your house have you itching to get them done—slow down. Do one task at a time and come indoors frequently.

Frostbite can set in also. It usually affects your extremities. If you feel tingling in your fingers, nose, ears or chin—you need to warm up very soon. Frostbite can cause permanent damage and if you already have poor circulation it is a real risk.

Do you take winter walks? If you do, take a buddy with you or at least the family dog. Always let someone know where you’re headed so that if an unfortunate accident should occur, people know where to look for you. If you are ever stranded in a vehicle, it is best to stay in your car until you are found rather than face the elements outside of the vehicle. Practice safe driving to avoid crashes and running off the road—this means not driving when roads are icy and avoiding bridges and overpasses. If you must drive over them, go very slowly.

Hand warmers and pocket warmers are your friends. Keep them in supply during cold winter months and use them if you are going to be outside for longer than 45 minutes. Stock up on flashlights, batteries, fuel, firewood, and other things you might need should there be a power outage. Staying prepared is half the battle to staying safe this winter.