6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence, avoiding ice injuries

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(ABC 6 News) – Winter’s ice and snow can increase the risk of injuries like slips and falls. Consumer Reports shares how you can prepare yourself, and your home, with some safety tips and products to help you through the next storm.

Ever since Catherine Malmgreen slipped and fell on her icy driveway she’s wary about walking on ice, and vigilant about keeping her driveway as safe as possible!

“I make sure there is salt on the driveway and that if I happen to be walking down it that I have those ice cleats to wear,” says Malmgreen.

But which kind is best, and how do you avoid damaging your driveway?

“All ice melts are salts,” says Consumer Reports’ Paul Hope. “Rock salt which is sodium chloride is good down to temperatures of about -15 degrees Fahrenheit. For anything less, go with calcium or magnesium chloride.”

Next, prep smart. Before a storm, lay down a thin layer of ice melt, then another layer during the storm. It makes it easier to shovel and clear away the snow and ice.

And while you’re outside clearing the snow or just braving the weather, it’s also important to choose the right footwear. Lace up shoes and boots with non skid rubber treads can help you avoid slips and falls. They should fit snugly.

Want even more traction? CR tried out slip on ice cleats; also known as ice spikes, crampons, Nanospikes and Microspikes. They attach to your shoes with rubber harnesses and/or straps and have spikes or screw heads that dig into the ice to keep you from slipping.

If you’re worried about salt damaging your driveway or other walkways, CR says try cutting your ice melt with sand, which can also provide some traction.

Keep in mind, sand will not help melt the ice, so take that advice with a “grain of salt,” and use caution when you’re out and about in the snow and ice.