Living in Northeast Nebraska and Southeast Dakota means dangerously cold temperatures in the winter, gusty winds, and enough snow to cause a hazard. Most residents understand the importance of staying safe while driving on icy roads, but the potential dangers of walking from the car to the front door are often overlooked.
It’s essential to winterize your porch to keep yourself, your family, and visiting guests safe as they approach your home. Today we’re going to share a few porch winter safety tips to follow.
Clear the Snow
Maintaining a clean porch is key to minimizing the risk of an accident. Snow increases the risk of slip-and-fall incidents that lead to serious injuries like broken bones. To keep your porch clear of snow, it’s a good idea to invest in a quality shovel. Here are a few types that are good for clearing snow:
- Ergonomic Shovel For those interested in a less labor-intensive experience or those with back pain, consider an ergonomic shovel. These shovels have an ergonomic handle designed to make snow removal easier by allowing you to maintain a comfortable posture.
- Snow Push Shovel Another way to simplify the snow removal process is by using a snow push shovel. If you have a larger porch, a snow-push shovel is a good option. You won’t actually need to scoop and lift the snow, just push it out of the way.
- Motorized Snow Blower Whether gas or electric, a snow blower is handy if you get a lot of snow piled up in your driveway year after year. Save your back and clear the driveway in record time so you can get back inside where it’s warm and cozy.
Ice can be quite dangerous and easily lead to a slip-and-fall accident. For this reason, it’s essential to melt ice on your porch to improve safety for everyone. Melting ice is generally done with salt as it does an effective job of melting ice and is affordable to purchase. But using salt long-term can damage concrete and create pits. It can also cause cracks in your walkway and steps, and you may notice that it harmed your grass come springtime. If you have pets, you’ll also need to ensure you have salt that isn’t harmful to them. If you’re not interested in using salt, here are some alternatives you can consider:
- Non-Salt-Based Melts Non-salt-based melts work similarly to traditional ice melts. The difference is that they don’t contain sodium or potassium chloride, which destroys plants and damages hard surfaces.
- Sand or Cat Litter Sand and cat litter don’t dissolve ice. It creates traction, minimizing the risk of falling.
- Vinegar Vinegar has acetic acid, which lowers the melting pot of water. When the melting pot is lowered, it prevents water from freezing.
- Heated Walkways Investing in a heated walkway is a great long-term investment for homeowners. Heated walkways must be installed before the ground freezes, but it’s an excellent option for homeowners to consider for next year.
Keep Things Well-Lit
Winters are dark, making it difficult to see where you’re going and whether ice is on the ground. The best solution is to keep your porch well-lit to ensure you have a good view of your path. There are several ways you can light up your porch. Some options include light timers and motion-activated lights. You can also consider investing in solar panel stake lights and lining your walkway with them.
Northeast Nebraska: Your Independent Insurance Agency
Taking the necessary precautions to improve your porch safety during the winter is key to protecting you, your family, and your guests. Be sure to keep your porch clear of snow, melt ice to reduce slip-and-fall accidents, and keep your porch area well-lit.
No matter what winter plans you and your family have planned, Northeast Nebraska is here to make sure you can enjoy them safely and with peace of mind. Find your local agent at any of our 10 convenient locations today. Contact us today to learn more!