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Renovation & Design

Get a grip on those slippery icy sidewalks

Heated mats, printed map vital assets this winter

Cozy Products

Cozy Products Ice-Away Heated Ice and Snow Melting Mat can keep your steps and sidewalks slip-free all winter.

Laurie Mustard / Winnipeg Free Press

A physical map may come in handy if caught in a snowstorm and your cellphone or smartwatch fails, but don’t rely on this one from 1948.

I’m hoping that because of today’s column, a lot fewer Free Press readers will fall and break an arm, a leg, a hip, or worse yet, a good bottle or two of wine this winter.

And just how can I prevent that, you ask.

By passing along some breaking news that flashed before my eyes earlier this week. News that gives you the power to make your steps and sidewalks slip-free all winter, by melting the snow as it falls and preventing ice from forming.

I speak of none other than the use of heated mats designed specifically to protect those of us who live in this winter wonderland (trying really hard to be positive here), available through Home Depot, which offers the Cozy Products Ice-Away Heated Ice and Snow Melting Mat. Talk about the perfect Christmas gift!

If my good friend Bev had had one of these outside the main door of her garage the winter before last, she wouldn’t have fallen and broken her femur like it was a toothpick.

It took rods, pins, duct tape, super glue, Flex Seal and a whole bunch of other stuff to put that leg together again, then months to heal back to her old walk.

One strategically placed heated mat could have prevented the whole thing.

I mean salt is OK, but forget to sprinkle it for just one day, and cast, here you come. There are numerous brands on the market, just Google "heated mats for ice and snow" and you’ll have a plethora to choose from. Really worth checking out, I believe. Over to you.

Continuing on our home-safety theme today, the severity of our last big snowstorm and the power outages which ensued got me thinking. I should take it upon myself to give you a map to stick to the front of your fridge, so should your cellphone and Garmin fail, you’ll at least have an actual hands-on map to use (remember those?), allowing you to drive screaming from the province as you make your permanent escape to warmer climes.

First, allow me to apologize for two things. One, that I cannot show the entire provincial highway map as the picture would have to be too large, and second, that the only map I could find here at home is from the year I was born, 1948.

Still, it’ll give you a general idea of which way to point your car.

If you want to go hibernate at your cabin at Grand Beach, good luck finding Highway 59, because it doesn’t exist yet. You’ll be hopping gravel roads all the way there.

Imagine all of the folks who travelled these roads back in the good old days and did so without the use of a cellphone, Garmin, or anything other than the kind of map you see here, and maybe occasionally a compass. How did they survive?

Anyway, I hope this is a big help to you. Snip it, magnet, fridge. The life you save may be your own. You’re welcome.

Comments or feedback, love to hear from you.

lmustard1948@gmail.com

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