We all know that cold winter weather in much of the country can result in frostbite, car accidents, fires, and other problems. In Hollywood and the rest of Florida, we tend to feel safe from these issues, but the first few weeks of 2015 have seen unseasonably cold weather in parts of Florida. Even South Florida saw temperatures below average recently and in more Northern areas of the state colder weather prevailed. Jacksonville even saw about three hours of flurries earlier this month.
Florida remains an escape for those who don’t want to have to deal with the winter, but with cooler weather it is a good idea to review basic safety precautions:
1) Check your smoke detectors.
One of the risks of colder weather is that people will be using heaters or turning up their heat in order to stay warmer, especially at night. However, some heating systems (such as space heaters) may come with a higher risk of fires. Having good working smoking detectors is important. They can alert you of fires quickly, so that you have time to get out of your home.
2) Use extra caution when using space heaters.
If you decide to use a fireplace or space heater, be sure to use extra caution. If you’re using a fireplace or wood stove, make sure that the chimney is well maintained and cleaned regularly. Do not place any flammable materials close to the heat, where they can catch fire. If you’re using an electric space heater, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully and only use the space heater if it is in good condition, with plugs and cords that are in good shape. Never place an electric space heater close to blankets, papers, or anything that could catch fire. Never use barbecues or grills intended for the outdoors inside.
3) Avoid driving if flurries come to your community.
If flurries, freezing rain, or snow do occur, avoid driving. If you have all season or summer tires, your tires may not have enough traction to properly grip the road and prevent you from sliding and causing a collision. If you don’t have a lot of winter driving experience, you may also cause a car accident if you do not know how to drive along slippery streets.
4) Use extra caution when walking in cold, wet weather.
Flurries or cold weather can lead to slippery surfaces on sidewalks, stairs, and all outdoor areas. If you notice ice on your property, you can buy road salt to provide traction and melt the ice. You can also use non-clumping kitty litter for some traction. If you need to head outside in cold, wet weather, wear proper shoes with good treads that will protect you from slip and fall accidents.
Have you suffered injuries because of someone’s recklessness or negligence? Allow Flaxman Law Group to offer you a free, no obligation case review so that you can discuss your situation with a member of our legal team. Our compassionate staff can help you understand if Florida law may allow you to seek compensation in your case.