Winter Watch: No-fail snow shovelling safety tips
For most of us, shovelling snow is a necessity in order to keep the walkways and driveways of our homes clear in winter. Snow shovelling provides lots of seasonal exercise, and while it may not be fun for some, it should be safe for everyone. Here are our top tips and techniques to help make this wintertime task easier and safer:
Before you begin
• If you have a back, joint or heart condition, always ask your doctor if you should be shovelling.
• Watch the weather. Although it may be tempting to let the snow melt on its own, if it starts to thaw and then freezes, you will have thick ice to contend with rather than simply snow.
Preparing to shovel
• Do a few stretches before you head out, to warm your muscles and prevent injury.
• Dress in layers to stay warm and, if you start getting overheated, simply loosen or remove a layer or two.
• Always bend your knees slightly and lift with your legs, not your back.
• Try an ergonomic shovel that allows you to push the snow, rather than lift it.
• If you must throw snow, take only as much snow as you can easily lift.
• Take breaks! Don’t try to hurry and get it all done at once, as continuous snow shovelling can be dangerous if you are not in the best physical condition.
• Change your grip on the shovel from time to time, using a palm over and then under to avoid repetitive motions that can lead to joint injury.
• If the snow is heavy, take it off in layers. Go easy and your body will thank you.
Safety tips for those with a garage
It is important to stay safe from carbon monoxide poisoning when clearing snow and warming your car. Never run your car in the garage to warm it, however briefly. Only once you have cleared enough snow from your driveway, should you open your garage door, start your car and back it out. Carbon monoxide can quickly build up and even leak into your home without your knowledge as it is an odourless, tasteless, colourless, yet deadly gas. Carbon monoxide reduces the amount of oxygen to the brain, causing CO intoxication and lack of reasoning ability. The extremely high concentrations of carbon monoxide produced by an engine in an enclosed, attached garage can raise CO concentrations so quickly that a person may collapse before they even realize there is a problem.
A monitored carbon monoxide detector can help keep you and your loved ones safe. As for the carbon monoxide detector location, it should be inside an attached garage, within 10 feet of the door. Another important carbon monoxide detector placement would be in any rooms above the garage, especially if they are bedrooms. This way, the carbon monoxide detector alarm will sound, alerting you as soon as there is a danger of rising CO levels. The rule of thumb for the carbon monoxide detector mounting height is 5 feet from the floor, for the best reading of your home’s air.
Shovelling around your car
If you are shovelling snow away from your car, be sure to clear around the exhaust pipes, again to protect yourself from carbon monoxide. Never leave a child unattended in the car while it is running and you are shovelling. It takes only 1 minute and 24 seconds for carbon monoxide levels to spike to dangerous levels inside a running vehicle.  These wintertime tips can help keep you safe from injury and harm. An affordable ADT by Telus monitored carbon monoxide level detector can help ensure the air inside your garage and home remains safe.
Don’t delay, call 888.ADT.ASAP today for more information and easy installation.
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