You can keep your own sidewalk clear of snow and ice, but when you’re out an about you’re at the mercy of the weather and you need to be prepared for anything Mother Nature can throw at you. This winter has been particularly bad for ice and slippery conditions and Calgary’s emergency services have been kept hopping dealing with injuries caused by falls on slippery sidewalks and streets.
Here are the top 5 things that you can do to stay safer when you venture out on foot this winter:
- Put traction devices on your shoes. The crampons used by mountain and ice climbers have evolved into very affordable studded devices that are easy to slip on to regular shoes. They provide an amazing amount of traction and are easy to take off when you get to your destination.
- Keep your ears open and be aware of your surroundings. People have been injured or killed when they walked into the path of snow clearing equipment. When you’re out walking take the earbuds out, put the cell phone away, and pay attention to what’s going on around you.
- Use walking poles. Four legs are better than two and walking poles will help you to stay upright if you slip on an icy sidewalk. As an added benefit they give you a bit of extra exercise so it’s a win win situation.
- Wear flat soled shoes with good grips. Don’t give in to vanity and wear heals on slippery sidewalks. Flat soled shoes with a textured bottom have more surface contact and are less likely to slide out from under you.
- Be particularly careful on stairs. Stairs are one of the most dangerous terrains to traverse after a snowfall. They can be covered with ice when a nearby sidewalk is kept ice free by heat radiating from the ground below. Go slow and hang on to the handrail.
Follow these simple tips and you’ll stay safer on Calgary streets this winter. If you require snow removal services, contact Five Star Landscaping today!
City works crews and snow removal companies will likely heave a mighty sigh of relief when the winter of 2013/2014 is finally over. It’s been a particularly difficult one so far for the people tasked with keeping Calgary’s roads, sidewalks, and pathways safe.
After a snowfall or a sudden thaw and freeze cycle that covers Calgary sidewalks and streets with ice, city workers and private contractors get to work. You might think that all that’s needed to attack all of that snow and ice is strong backs, some heavy equipment, and a lot of sand and salt but there’s a lot of planning and science behind the modern business of snow and ice removal. The industry has its own professional organizations, magazines, and there are certificate programs for people who work in the industry.
Fluctuating temperatures, heavy snowfalls, and frequent high winds have made for deeply drifted snow and very slippery conditions in and around Calgary this winter. The city of Calgary tries to keep 300 kilometers of public pathways around the city clear within 24 hours of a snow event. Crews are struggling to keep up and in spite of their efforts, during one week alone this winter, Calgary EMS received 210 calls related to falls.
Calgary residents sometimes complain about snow removal services in the city but try to imagine how massive an undertaking it is to clear the streets in a sprawling urban environment. When snow hits, an army of municipal and private snow clearing workers descent on city streets, parking lots, and private roads in a well-coordinated and organized assault.
It’s never too early to prepare for snow and cities and snow removal companies begin to plan for winter during the summer. Priorities are set, staffing needs are planned for, materials and supplies are ordered, and equipment is prepped so it’s ready to go at the first sign of snow (which can happen at any time in Calgary).
If you’re having trouble staying one step ahead of Old Man Winter this year, contact 5 Star Landscaping for professional snow and ice removal services.
Springtime is wonderful: the snow is melting, plants are growing… but winter leaves behind it’s mark: a white crust of salt stains on your driveway and sidewalks. Here’s a great tutorial on how to remove those pesky stains without harsh chemicals, ensuring your property will look its best year round.