It’s awfully cold out there, and our risks for injury are increasing. One of our biggest concerns is staying warm, but we’re asking you to stay safe in the meantime.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), many families are putting themselves at risk with the cold weather by using generators improperly. With the winter weather knocking out power across the state, we’re reminding you to use your generator safely and properly. Most importantly, you want to remember to keep your generator outside and you want to make sure to keep it at least 20 feet away from any open doors or windows.
Our New York City personal injury attorneys understand that generators aren’t the only source of winter dangers here in the state. Authorities have blamed a total of 15 deaths on the cold so far, 11 of them from traffic accidents, according to CNN. People die in traffic accidents on slick, icy roads. Residents are die from hypothermia after exposure to the cold. People die from carbon monoxide exposure from improper ventilation of alternative heat sources and generators. New Yorkers are at risk of heart attacks from overexerting themselves while shoveling snow, pushing a car or walking in the snow.
Generators: Connecting a portable electric generator directly to your household wiring can be deadly. If you choose to buy a generator, make sure you get one that is rated for the amount of power that you think you will need. Look at the labels on lighting, appliances, and equipment you plan to connect to the generator to determine the amount of power that will be needed to operate the equipment. A generator that is directly connected to your home’s wiring can ‘backfeed’ into the power lines connected to your home. Follow manufacturer’s instructions. If it’s necessary to connect generator to house wiring to power appliances, have a qualified electrician install appropriate equipment. Or, your utility company may be able to install an appropriate transfer switch.
Driving: Driving your car while the roads are snowy and icy can be a stressful ordeal. While some vehicles are well-suited for the snow, some are not. Watch weather reports prior to a long-distance drive or before driving in isolated areas. Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected. If you must leave, let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival. Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
Hypothermia: Almost everyone knows about winter dangers for older people such as broken bones from falls on ice or breathing problems caused by cold air. But, not everyone knows that cold weather can also lower the temperature of your body, radically and quickly, especially in the kind of below-zero temperatures we’ve seen this week. Commuters or shovelers who dawdle outdoors with exposed skin risk contracting a mild case of frostbite — tissue frozen by poor circulation and frigid temperatures. Savvy outdoors enthusiasts know that insulating critical heat loss regions (head and neck, sides of chest, armpits, and groin) forestalls hypothermia, frostbite, or simple cold discomfort. Layering appropriate fabrics helps preserve body heat, also.
The Law Offices of Nicholas Rose, PLLC offers free consultations. Call 1-877-313-7673.
More Blog Entries:
New Yorks Hold Driving Safety Keys in 2014, New York Injury Lawyer Blog, January 2, 2014
Too Fast and Furious: Excessive Speed to Blame in Fatal Car Crash, New York Injury Lawyer Blog, December 12, 2013