Bad weather can lead to conditions that kill, so North Lincolnshire Council has issued advice on how to cope with the cold snap.
Gritting crews are on standby and have been out salting roads across North Lincolnshire. They will also clear pedestrianised areas and heavily-used footpaths.
But there are simple steps people can take to help reduce their chance of a slip, strip or fall:
Keep yourself up-to-date with weather forecasts. Preparation is key.
When icy or wet weather is forecast, act to prevent icy build-up in well-used areas such as your driveway, garden path etc. by putting salt down.
If possible, avoid areas that are sloped or constantly in the wet or in the shade.
If you need to go out in bad weather, consider some ice and/or snow treads that attach to the bottom of your shoes. These are a cost effective way of being able to walk on icy or snowy walkways without fear of falling.
If you have one, wear a personal alarm, either round your neck or on your wrist. If you don’t have one and are at risk of falling, consider buying one, especially if you live on your own. For more details, call the council’s Care Call team on 01724 849768 or visit www.northlincs.gov.uk/carecall
And don’t forget to check on elderly neighbours, friends and relatives to ensure they are OK and have everything they need.
There is often confusion around whether you should clear snow from your property. Clearing snow and ice from pavements can make moving around much safer and easier. Gov.uk has provided the following advice on how to clear snow and ice safely for you and others this winter. If you clear snow and ice from your pavement carefully, it is unlikely that you’ll be sued or held accountable if someone is injured.
When to clear snow and ice: do it early in the day – it’s easier to move fresh, loose snow
Don’t use water – it might refreeze and turn to black ice
Use salt if possible – it will melt the ice or snow and stop it from refreezing overnight (but don’t use the salt from salting bins as this is used to keep roads clear)
You can use ash and sand if you don’t have enough salt – it will provide grip underfoot
Pay extra attention when clearing steps and steep pathways – using more salt may help
Gritting is a quick way to de-ice surfaces during the winter. Rock salt is the most common used grit that we often see being spread on public roads and walkways.
Gritting should be carried out when frost, ice or snow is forecast or if walkways are likely to be damp or wet. The most effective time to grit is early evening, before the frost and/or early in the morning before pedestrians or employees make use of the surface
Important to note: salt does not work instantly, it needs time to dissolve into the moisture on the ground, so please bear this in mind if and when you are applying salt in your own areas
Do not grit when it is raining heavily. Doing so will cause the grit to be washed away or will have no impact on preventing slips, trips and falls, and may cause a problem if the rain turns to snow
Grit is not effective when compacted snow turns into ice. Other methods such as shovelling the snow (take care not to block the way for others) and then applying grit, will be more effective
If thinking of driving: ask yourself if your journey is really necessary – will it wait until the weather improves?
If you have to travel, give yourself extra time for the journey – don’t put pressure on yourself by rushing
Slow down and take extra care. It is your responsibility to drive to the prevailing road and weather conditions
If you get into trouble, especially in snow, stay with your vehicle until help arrives
For more useful tips, refer to the ‘Let’s get ready for Winter’ leaflet http://www.heps.gov.uk/news/get-ready-for-the-winter/
For details of which roads and pavements the council salts, call 01724 297000 or visit www.northlincs.gov.uk
For more details on how to keep safe, well and warm during the winter months, visit www.northlincs.gov.uk/winterhealth.
Frances Cunning, Director, Public Health at North Lincolnshire Council, said: “The council constantly monitors the weather for any changes in temperature and as soon as it drops to below freezing, the crews are out gritting the roads and footpaths helping keep them open and accessible for motorists and pedestrians.
“Conditions can at times be treacherous, so it is important that people, especially the elderly are extra careful. They should only go out if absolutely necessary and take extra precautions such as wear snow shoes or boots with good grips on the soles. If at all possible, ask a friend or relative to do your errands for you, to save you having to go out.
“Having said that, we don’t want people to be cooped up inside all winter. It is important that we get some fresh air and exercise, even if it is just a short stroll to the shops. But please be very careful and when the weather gets really bad, only go out if it is absolutely necessary.”