Winter Evacuation 101: Winter Emergencies and How to Prepare for Them
Here at Evacuscape, nothing would please our team more than to know that your family enjoys a safe and joyous holiday season and a happy new year. While emergencies can happen at any time of year, holiday and winter safety requires special consideration. Sadly, it is a matter of fact that more risks tend to present themselves during the colder months.
No one wants to have to face the hardship that an emergency or injury can bring, especially not when you’ve been looking forward to enjoying the company of your loved ones. Fortunately, all it takes are a few considerations to ensure that your friends and family stay as safe as possible.
Safety Planning through the Winter
When it comes to planning for emergencies during the winter, it helps to consider the differences that might enter your home at this time of year regarding emergencies and safety in the home. Here are a few other issues pertaining to safety through the winter season that you’ll want to keep in mind at all times:
- High Risk of Fire
- More Use of Heating Systems
- More Use of Fireplaces and Candles
- Potential for Severe Weather
Given the unfortunate reality of these risks, safety precautions like emergency evacuation stair chairs become even more critical than usual. When you assess the risks, conditions and changes that the winter season brings, it will allow you to plan, so you’ll be ready for emergencies.
Make a Plan, Check it Twice
If you already have an emergency evacuation plan ready that was designed with warm weather safety in mind, there won’t be many changes that you’ll need to consider through the winter. The main difference will be that there is more potential for emergencies that have to do with freezing temperatures and the potential for house fires.
You should also refamiliarize yourself and everyone in your household with your evacuation strategies and consider whether you need to accommodate changes due to cold weather, such as creating an indoor meeting place.
End of Year Checks
You should also ensure that your emergency supplies and first-aid kit are fully stocked and that anything perishable is replaced. If you have only stocked emergency clothing that is suitable for the summer, you’ll need to exchange these items for thermal insulated winter clothing and other items that belong in a winter survival kit, such as warm blankets.
Since the beginning of winter coincides with the end of the year, it marks a good occasion to check all of your fire alarms, fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are fully functional.
Increased Vigilance for Fire Safety
During the holidays and through the winter, people tend to use more things that cause a fire hazard. When you’re dealing with an open flame in your home, things like
- Using Excessive Amounts of Heating
- Bringing a Christmas Tree into Your Home that May Dry Out
- Cooking and Baking More Often
- Decorating Your Home with Electric Christmas Lights
inevitably cause the risk of a house fire to go up.
The last thing that you want to happen during the coldest months is to suffer from a house fire and lose the use of your home, so it is essential that you exercise extreme precaution while enjoying any of these things.
Holiday and Winter Cooking
Not only do people tend to do more cooking and baking during the holiday season, but they also tend to try out new recipes that they haven’t attempted before. Remember that when you are trying out anything new in the kitchen, there’s always a potential for the unexpected.
Some basic kitchen safety tips to remember at all times include:
- Wear Safe Clothing
- Keep Distractions to a Minimum
- Keep Kids and Pets Out of the Kitchen
- Get Educated About How to Handle Kitchen Knives Properly
- Clean Your Messes As Soon As Possible
- Pay Attention and Remain Calm
If you haven’t had much experience with baking or cooking, it can also be a good idea to take a kitchen safety course to ensure that you have all of the basics down pat.
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Travelling During the Winter
Most of the information in this winter safety and emergency preparation review pertains to situations that occur in your own home. Still, it is worth noting that you should make similar precautions if you are staying at a hotel or as someone’s guest in another location.
In such situations, you’ll want to ensure that you go over your usual emergency evacuation checklist and have a new escape plan in place if the need to evacuate arises. Take special care to locate emergency exits and to ensure all of the fire detectors are working.
If you’re planning on travelling by car, make sure that your vehicle has been properly winterized and also includes a winter emergency kit for the road.
Considering Special Needs
The holidays are a time of goodwill toward others, so they should serve as a reminder of those who might be visiting your home or those who are on their own that have special needs. Given that the holidays and winter season can be a difficult time for those who have a limited support network or those who live with mental health issues, this time might mark a good time to reach out with support.
When it comes to considering people with physical disabilities and mobility issues, it doesn’t matter whether it concerns someone who lives in your household or not. You should consider preparing your home in advance so that you are able to welcome anyone into your home and be able to ensure their safety.
Escape Chairs and Hospitality
Owning an emergency evacuation chair from Evacuscape will ensure that anyone that has difficulties descending stairways can evacuate with minimal assistance in the case of emergencies. Such equipment is especially vital if you live in a building equipped with emergency exits that require descending stairs.
Ensuring that anyone who might visit your home will be accounted for in the case of an emergency is a vital part of safety planning during the winter and during any time of year. If you don’t already own an evacuation chair, contact us here at Evacuscape to get help finding the right option for your home.