Winter Preparedness

With Winter settling in it is important to plan ahead to have a safe winter. As always, Oakley Home Access has a particular interest in fall prevention and also informing our clients about special considerations of the adaptive equipment that we provide. With that in mind, we have some Winter tips that can make the season safe.

Winter Slip and Fall Prevention

No matter how much of a hurry you may be in, take note to walk slowly and carefully. Remember that rushing is never worth falling. Tap your foot on any questionable areas to check to see if they are slippery. Walk as flat-footed as possible on possible icy areas. Footwear choice is important in icy weather so be sure to wear slip resistant shoes with solid tread on the soles. And always be aware of black ice, which is a thin coating of glaze ice on the surface of many roads, often difficult to see.

Because it is almost impossible to avoid tracking in the wet snow when entering a building, be careful of slippery floors and puddles when entering.

If possible, avoid carrying too many items and NEVER walk with hands in your pockets as this can prevent you from catching/balancing yourself if you lose balance. The conditions here in New England can be harsh at times but if we venture out safely we can still enjoy the beauty of its landscapes and communities year-round.

Aluminum Ramp Preparation and Preventing Slips

Here at Oakley Home Access we specialize in 100% Aluminum Modular ramps to assist you with home accessibility. We stand by this product due to its lifetime warranty and its ease of ownership to you the owner. We recommend keeping the ramp clean and free of debris at all times which is for your safety and the aesthetics of the ramp. During summer months, there is minimal additional maintenance required for your ramp. However, New England winters present their own challenges. Below are the recommended methods for caring for and using your aluminum ramp system safely during winter months.

  • Utilize PET SAFE ice melt on your ramp. Standard rock salt and ice will negatively affect the integrity of your ramp and will VOID the lifetime warranty. Cat litter can be added as an addition to pet safe ice melt to provide extra traction.
  • Instruct snow removal crews to use plastic edged shovels for heavy snow removal and then finish the ramp with brooms to avoid getting the shovels stuck on the ridges of the ramp surface. Your ramp and your snow removal crews will thank you.
  • Take extra time when using your ramp. Utilize handrails and step carefully. Your ramp does have excellent traction and is designed to collect minimal water or ice; however, being cautious is always best practice.
  • Wear gloves! Aluminum becomes very cold during winter months and it is important to protect your hands and the integrity of your skin.
  • Visually inspect your ramp regularly. Your ramp is leveled with adjustable legs. During winter months the ground will freeze which could alter the position of the legs. Although it will be minimal and still safe to use, call Oakley Home Access if you believe the ramp needs adjustment.
  • Prior customers have had success finding plastic edge shovels, pet safe ice melt, and cat litter at Ocean State Job Lot for an affordable price!

Stairlifts and Vertical Platform Lift Battery Life

If you have one of our Stair Lifts or VPLs it will be reassuring to know that they can withstand power outages. If one of our common New England blizzards comes through and power is out for an extended period of time, our vertical platform lifts hold enough charge to be used 25 times, which will allow you to leave your home plenty of times if needed or to get back in if you are out when the power outage occurs. Our stairlifts, both indoor and outdoor, will run approximately 30-50 times on the battery alone.

An important point to remember for the snowbirds who leave their homes for several months during the winter is to have someone check on their homes and use the stair lift or vertical platform lift several times over the course of time that they are away. This will keep the lift in working order and the battery strong.

Oakley Home Access is here for you if you need more information or have other questions about winter safety. Our showroom at 322 S. Pier Rd Narragansett,RI is open Monday through Friday and we welcome you to stop by to see the adaptive equipment that we have on display.