Accident prevention: Putting safety first in 2020

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January is a great time to sit down and think about the year ahead – particularly when it comes to keeping yourself and your loved ones safe this season. Canadian personal injury law firm, Diamond and Diamond, deals with cases every day that could have been prevented by taking some simple precautions:

Automobile Safety

Automobile safety starts with understanding what unforeseen dangers are most likely to creep up. You can prevent many of them just by thinking ahead:

  1. Make sure your regular vehicle maintenance checks are up to date
  2. Invest in winter tires
  3. Equip your car with an emergency kit
  4. Fully charge phones and bring chargers on long trips

Sidewalk Safety

You have a responsibility to ensure your property is safe. Protect yourself, your loved ones and anyone else on your property from injury by following these simple steps:

  1. Make sure to shovel snow off your stairs, driveway and the sidewalk in front of your home
  2. In case of ice, remember to salt your sidewalk and walkway too
  3. Tie-down loose items on your balcony or lawn that may blow away during strong winds and cause damage or injuries

Fire Prevention

While the idea of winter conjures up images of sitting by the fireplace drinking cocoa, candles, fireplaces, and even furnaces can increase your risk of fire.

  1. Keep debris two feet from around a gas furnace or heater
  2. After a heavy snowfall, check to make sure the air intake and exhaust to the furnace are not clogged
  3. For fireplaces, make sure the flue is not clogged before lighting fires to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Ensure fires have a protective screen and never leave fireplaces unattended
  4. Update your smoke alarms to include ones that detect gas and carbon monoxide and place one near the furnace and fireplace
  5. Check all smoke, natural gas, and carbon monoxide alarms and make sure they have fresh batteries
  6. Ensure lit candles are placed away from furniture and any other flammables and remember to blow out candles when you leave the room

Pet Safety

Keep pets safe during extreme weather temperatures. Remember that if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pets. Don’t leave pets outside or unattended in vehicles during freezing temperatures. For outings, be sure to give your pet extra protection with a pet-jacket and waterproof foot protection to prevent hypothermia and frostbite in freezing temperatures.

Dress Appropriately

For outings in extremely cold temperatures, don’t just dress for the temperatures inside your car or indoors, plan ahead for emergencies like having to change a flat tire or having to wait outside for first responders after an accident. Be sure everyone in your group is dressed warmly for outdoor weather including waterproof boots with slip-resistant outer soles. Store some extra blankets, snacks, and drinks in the trunk for any travel in snow-covered roads that could involve extended traffic jams from accidents or blocked roads.

Monitor Weather Reports

Plan ahead by checking weather reports for snowstorms and extreme cold alerts, not only in your area but anywhere you will be traveling to. You don’t want to travel somewhere and end up stuck there because of a blizzard or snowstorm. For your local area, stock up on pantry and household items to avoid unnecessary trips when you know roads will be more hazardous due to an upcoming storm.

Do Welfare Checks

Check on vulnerable people who you know, such as the elderly, the sick, those struggling with mental illness, or neighbours generally isolated and make sure they are also prepared for upcoming extreme weather and snowstorms.

Keep Outdoor Activities Safe

Wear appropriate clothing and protective gear for outdoor activities on the slopes or the ice. Avoid risky or dangerous stunts, and stay within your skill sets and abilities.

Even with all of these precautions, sometimes an accident or injury can still occur because of the negligence or irresponsibility of others. If you or any of your loved ones are injured this winter despite your best efforts to stay safe, the personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have many years of experience and are here to help. Call 1-800-567-HURT for a free consultation.

About Jeremy Diamond

Jeremy Diamond is a lawyer and member of both Ontario and Florida Bars. Jeremy practices in the area of Plaintiff personal injury litigation. Click here to learn more about Jeremy Diamond.