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City sidewalks and surfaces slippery after days of fluctuating temperatures
Published Wednesday, February 14, 2018 8:50AM MST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 14, 2018 6:28PM MST
Freezing temperatures overnight have created slick conditions on sidewalks, steps, parking lots and platforms and emergency officials say they see an increase in calls for slips and falls at this time of year.
Some sidewalks and surfaces in the city are covered in a solid layer of ice because of the heavy snowfall and fluctuating temperatures over the last few days.
“We’ve seen some continuous slippery conditions for quite a while, especially since we’ve had this, particularly the last high amount of snow that fell, but any time we see a freeze/thaw cycle, so we have any warming, any of that, snow begins to melt and then we have another period of cool overnight, that causes a lot of slippery conditions. It can be very, very glassy and so very, very important, even if you have shovelled your walk or cleared your steps or areas that have been cleared that you normally navigate that may again ice over as we see a bit of thawing,” said Stuart Brideaux, Public Education Officer, Calgary EMS.
EMS officials say people can prevent falls by paying attention to their surroundings while they are out walking.
“Just be very, very mindful of where you’re walking and what route you’re going to choose to use and as well using proper footwear, boots, or proper winter boots that have a solid tread and good ankle support. But choose your route as well. If there is an area that has been clear that you can choose to use, versus staying on an area that’s very, very slippery, do do that, but as well, make sure you walk carefully and focus on your walking, as simple as that sounds, staying off your phone, being careful of what you’re doing,” said Brideaux.
Brideaux says keeping a low centre of gravity and making sure your feet are making full contact with the surface will help with traction. He says paramedics do see more calls for falls at this time of year.
"Certainly we do see broken bones from slips and falls, commonly wrists, ankles or perhaps even collar bones just from a simple ground level slip. This occurs as well when people are either out shovelling snow or perhaps carrying things, boxes of groceries, or even children when their navigating slippery areas. So again if you don't need to do that choose not to, but take your time is the biggest thing, even a simple turn or stepping in and out of a vehicle up and down a curb can result in a slip and fall."
For more information about snow and ice concerns, click HERE.