Safety Tips for Winter

January 31, 2017

Safety first – especially in the winter, right? Because while snowfall brings winter activities in and around Southshore that are a joy, it’s a good idea to beware of potential winter injuries, accidents and other health dangers. Luckily, there’s no snow in our immediate forecast, but keep these tips handy just in case!


For most of us in Colorado, shoveling snow is part of our winter routine. Yet every winter, about 100 people in the U.S. die from shoveling-related causes like overexertion. Just last December, three men in Milwaukee died during the same week while shoveling snow – the youngest was 44-years-old!

The National Safety Council recommends the following tips to shovel safely:

  • Do not shovel after eating or while smoking.
  • Take it slow and stretch out before you begin.
  • Shovel now when its fresh and powdery (and lighter!).
  • Push the snow, don’t lift it.
  • If you do lift, use a small shovel or only partially fill the shovel.
  • Lift with your legs, not your back.
  • Do not work to the point of exhaustion.

Don’t pick up a shovel if you have a history of heart disease without a doctor’s permission. If you feel tightness in your chest or dizziness, stop immediately!


Using a blower doesn’t mean you can’t hurt yourself. An average of 5,700 people hurt themselves snowblowing each year with injuries ranging from amputations, burns, hand fractures and lacerations to general aches and pains.

 These tips from the American Society for Surgery of the Hand will help you avoid typical snow blower injuries:

  • If the blower jams, turn it off.
  • Keep your hands away from all moving parts.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption when using a snow blower.
  • Be aware of the carbon monoxide risk of running a snow blower in an enclosed space.
  • Refuel your snow blower when it is off, never while it is running.


 Electric space heaters are a popular way to warm small enclosed spaces in the winter, but according to the U.S. Fire Administration, cause nearly one-third of all home heating fires and a lot of serious injuries.

The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) recommends these safety tips to avoid fires from space heaters.

  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around space heaters.
  • Keep a three-foot radius of space between space heaters and flammables such as fabric, paper, bedding or furniture.
  • Turn heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
  • Use space heaters with an automatic shut off in case are tipped over.
  • Place the space heater on solid, flat surface.
  • Never use extension cords; plug power cords directly into outlets.


 Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors save lives, but less than one-third of American homes have working ones. January is one of the peak danger months, so check out these tips to avoid accidental CO poisoning.

  • Replace the battery for your home’s CO detector every spring and fall.
  • Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas or coal-burning appliance serviced every year.
  • Do not heat your home with a gas range or oven.
  • Never run a car or truck inside an attached garage.
  • Do not use portable flameless chemical heaters indoors.
  • Never use a generator inside your home, basement or garage or less than 20 feet from any window, door or vent; fatal levels of carbon monoxide can be produced in just minutes.
  • Have your chimney checked and cleaned every year, and make sure your fireplace damper is open before lighting a fire and long after it’s extinguished.
  • Make sure your gas appliances are properly vented.
  • Never use a gas oven to heat your home.
  • Never let a car idle in the garage.


Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, and if you suspect exposure immediately get outside to fresh air and do not try to find the source of the CO.

Low levels of CO poisoning result in:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Mild symptoms sometimes are mistaken for flu

High levels of CO poisoning results in:

  • Mental confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of muscular coordination
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Death

Dial 911 if you experience these symptoms and exit your home immediately. Do not return to the home until you have been given an all-clear by a professional.

Safety at Southshore!

Safety and security, style and substance are all vitally important to residents of the master-planned community of Southshore. Tour one of seven Village Homes models, survey the new home collections from Richmond American Homes, and visit Century Communities latest designs. Each builder offers ranch and two-story models priced from the $400s to the $700s.