Tips to Prevent Slips and Falls This Winter

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(NewsUSA) - Ice sends thousands sliding, slipping and falling each year. And unfortunately, many of those falls result in serious injury.

You can't control the weather, but you may be able to keep ice from forming on your walkways. One innovative company, HeatTrak (www.heattrak.com), manufactures outdoor mats that, when plugged into an electrical outlet, melt snow and ice at a rate of two inches per hour. Commonly used by businesses and university campuses, HeatTrak mats have recently become available to homeowners. The mats are durable and meant to stay outside all season. Those who want to enjoy slip-free walkways and stairs simply need to install the mats, then turn them on when snow first starts to fall -- the mats will prevent ice and snow from accumulating.

Of course, it's hard to avoid snow and ice the whole winter, so it's best to take precautions against slips and falls. Here are some tips for safer winter walking:

- Wear the proper foot gear. Slippery soles will make icy conditions even more hazardous. Wear shoes with non-slip soles and deep treads.

- Watch where you're walking. Stick to sidewalks whenever possible. If a surface looks slippery, tap it with your toe before stepping forward. Be especially wary about black ice, which can be hard to detect visually. Walk at a slow, even pace -- running or jumping makes it easier to lose your footing. If you do have to walk over ice, bend you knees slightly and take shorter steps.

- Stay balanced. Keep your hands free to help you balance. If there are handrails, use them. Try to avoid carrying heavy packages up and down icy stairs, and don't carry loads that you can't see over.

- Don't let clothes obscure your vision. You need to stay warm, but don't wear ski masks, scarves, hats or hoodies that restrict your vision.

- Watch out for ice from above. Falling icicles can cause serious injury. Avoid walking underneath the edges of buildings.

For more information on the HeatTrak products, visit www.heattrak.com.

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Tips to Prevent Slips and Falls This Winter

Heated mats keep stairs from becoming icy, making for safer walking.

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Word Count: 334
Article Date: September 24, 2009

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