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Staying Safe on Icy Surfaces

Staying Safe on Icy Surfaces

Perhaps you have already noticed it this season – slick surfaces. Whether you are out walking the dog in the morning and catch a glimpse of an icy spot on the sidewalk, or if you notice an icy patch under a leaking gutter at your workplace, ice is a serious danger for midwesterners this time of year. Thousands of injuries occur each winter thanks to slips and falls due to icy surfaces. Keep yourself safe this winter season by following a few of these tips.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled
Ice can be especially dangerous as it can be difficult to see. This winter, train your eyes to look for official warning signs that draw attention to slick spots. You can also look for hidden slick spots by looking for glistening spots on sidewalks or driveways, steering clear of essentially anything that appears to be “wet”.

Use Railings
Stairs leading into businesses or homes can be especially dangerous. Ice can accumulate on stairs and make walking up or down them treacherous. To keep from slipping, always use railings when navigating stairs, even if they don’t seem slick.

Choose the Salted Path
When possible, walk on sidewalks or walkways that are treated with de-icing materials like salt. While you should still remain vigilant and step carefully on all surfaces, a salted surface is a safer option than an untreated surface.

Tell Someone
If you are entering someone’s home or a business and encounter dangerous conditions, tell someone. Ice can accumulate quickly, and business or homeowners may be unaware their paths are unsafe.

Seek Help if You Are Injured
Slips and falls can happen even if you are diligent. Icy surfaces are dangerous! If you slip on an icy surface, get the help you need, even if you feel more embarrassed than injured. Like many unexpected injuries, slipping on ice can cause pain and damage you may not feel immediately. However, if you seek medical attention right away, you can receive the treatments you need to feel your best in the days to come.

If you slip on the ice this season, remember to call the team at MacCloskey Kesler and Associates. We have decades of experience advocating for injured clients, and getting them the compensation they deserve. We would be honored to work with you as well.

Handling Your First Holiday Without  WIthout a Loved One

Handling Your First Holiday Without WIthout a Loved One

Losing a loved one unexpectedly is devastating. The holidays can be especially tough, especially when celebrating the first holiday without your loved one. Grief can rise up at any time, even after someone has been gone for many years, but there is something especially tender about those first major celebrations without an important part of the family.

At MacCloskey Kesler and Associates, we have worked hand-in-handwith grieving families for decades. Our compassion for our clients, and our dedication to serving them well, has given us first-handexperience helping people who are going through their first winter holidays while actively grieving a loved one. While nothing will compare to having your loved one with you this season, there are a few ways you can cope and survive during this tough time.

Say No
Your holiday this year is going to look different, and that is okay. Take care of yourself, and those in your family, by knowing it is perfectly acceptable to say “no thank you” to invitations to celebrations, events, dinners, coffee, or other opportunities. Even better, you don’t need to offer a reason for declining; just say no. You also have the right to cancel if you just aren’t feeling up to it.

Surround Yourself With People You Love
Grief can feel isolating, but research has shown that support from others is crucial during the process. Resist the urge to keep your grief a solo sport, instead choosing to invite people you love and trust into it with you.

Honor Your Loved One
People grieving the loss of a loved one are often shocked and saddened when others are too nervous to mention the person who has passed away. This season, honor your loved one in a tangible way. Add a special ornament to your tree, light a candle for them all season long, share good stories about the person around the table during dinner.

Focus On Yourself and Your Health
Grief can make it extremely difficult to put yourself, and your needs, first. However, without a focus on proper sleep, nutrition, and activity, you can feel like you are drowning (and you will likely get sick). Do what you need to do to get the sleep you need, the food you need, and the activity you need to feel well and cope with stress. Ask for help from those around you, who will happily rally to support you.

We are thinking of you this holiday season, and hope you find moments of peace.

Winter Fire Safety

Winter Fire Safety

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, winter months are especially dangerous times for house fires. Before our northern Illinois winter weather fully sets in for the next four months, take time to assure that you, your family, and your home are safe from potential fire hazards.

Check Your Fire Alarms
Fire alarms and smoke detectors are a crucial component of your family’s fire safety plan. However, without working batteries, you are missing the chance to detect a fire in enough time to safely get out. Ideally, you should check your fire alarm at least twice per year. Most Americans choose to do the checks during each time change. It’s not too late to check your detectors – do a quick test and swap out the batteries to assure your detectors are ready to work, if they need to.

Beware of Open Flames
The winter holidays and chilly weather can leave many of us lighting candles to feel cozy and calm. However burning, too many candles at once can create a serious fire hazard. Be sure everyone in your family knows to blow out candles when leaving the house, even if it is just for a short amount of time. Further, keep your candle wicks trimmed and your candles far from curtains, fabrics, or other flammable materials.

Be Careful With Your Twinkle Lights
Christmas trees can catch fire frighteningly fast. Your strands of twinkle lights, whether on the tree or elsewhere, can be the culprit for igniting your tree and your home. When putting up your lights, assure that strands are not damaged and that wires are not exposed. Opt for LED lights when possible, as they do not get as hot as other options.

Ditch the Space Heater
Space heaters may help your home feel warmer, but these devices can quickly become deadly. If you must use a space heater, keep it shut off when unattended and keep all fabrics far away.

Finally, use the winter season as a reminder to talk with your famiy about safe fire evacuation plans. You can work together to designate a meeting spot outside of your home, and remind one another about how to safely evacuate the home in case of fire.

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