From boots to barbecue, Texas does a lot of things well, but functioning safely in ice and snow just isn’t one of them. Whether you live in Brownsville or Amarillo, be prepared for cold weather and follow these basic winter weather safety tips.
- Copper and PVC pipes can crack or burst in freezing weather, so proper insulation is a must. In less severe freezing conditions, consider letting outside faucets drip, but they may need to be drained and their hoses disconnected in severely cold weather.
- Extensive damage and water loss can occur when pipes burst in unoccupied or vacant buildings, so make sure and include these structures in your cold-weather preparations. Ensure the building remains heated to help prevent issues with freezing. Remember to check buildings that will be closed for the weekend. It's no fun to come back and find water damage from a burst pipe!
- Slip-resistant footwear is a must in the workplace after a winter storm. Employees should also utilize three points of contact while ascending and descending stairways and avoid carrying loads in areas where ice has accumulated.
- Sand, rock salt, and chemical de-icers can help eliminate winter weather slip hazards to a certain extent, but always evaluate walking routes to make sure employees are using the safest option in inclement weather. Slippery areas should be dried immediately and the walking surface should be identified with a wet floor marker.
- Use the Three-Second Rule to control your speed year-round, but don’t forget to add a second of following distance for each hazardous condition you face on the road (low light, rain, and ice are perfect examples). Find a safe place to pull over when conditions warrant.
- Car batteries may only have half the cranking power in freezing temperature, and even the best windshield wiper blades may only last six months. Add these action items to your typical auto maintenance checklist, along with a tire tread and winter-ready fluid check.
- Even at temperatures above freezing, black ice can be present almost anywhere. While it may look to the naked eye like a typical wet spot on the road, it’s a winter driving hazard that puts many Texans in the ditch.
Cold weather is often short-lived in Texas, but with preparation and patience, you can prevent an injury and save time from dealing with property damage.
If you have questions about safety or loss prevention, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (800) 537-6655.