Ice is no joke.

Falling on an icy driveway or stairs is no laughing matter when the risk of debilitating injuries is very real.

According to the CDC, about a million Americans are injured each year as a result of falling on ice and snow with about 17,000 of these falls resulting in death.

Outdoors portrait of crying toddler boy
SbytovaMN
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That's why many in Maine invest in big bags of salt and sand, to make the areas around their homes safe in the wintertime. And it's not just you and your family to consider, the safety of anyone who visits, or comes by with a delivery is at stake, too.

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Some good places to start, if you're going to lay down some salt and sand, would be your driveway, doorway, parking lots, and entryways.

V_Sot
V_Sot
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Aside from laying down salt or sand on your driveway, one website, the Family Handyman, has some unconventional ideas on how else to keep your steps solid.

1.) Pickle Juice
Large jar of dill pickle slices over white background.
PhotoEuphoria
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"Because pickle juice has a lot of salt, the mixture will quickly melt ice from car windows and other surfaces.  If you use it on the walkway, just remember to sweep off the melted ice and juice or the ice will reform. You can even use it to remove black ice on sidewalks and driveways, though you might need a lot of it. The salty brine will help prevent snow and ice from bonding to the surface."
Olga Evtushkova
Olga Evtushkova
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2.) Rubbing Alcohol and Water Mix
Bottle of a hand sanitizer against blue background
Nodar Chernishev
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"If you find yourself without an ice scraper or needing to scrape the ice off your windshield in a hurry, try making a two-to-one mix of rubbing alcohol and water and spray the mixture on your windows. Add a tablespoon or so of dish soap to the mix to help prevent further ice and help break up the stuff that’s already there."
Lock jammed up with ice?
3.) Grab a straw!
Plastic disposable cup lid and straw
Cindy Shebley
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"If ice has formed in your car lock, grab a straw. And put the end of the straw right up to the lock and blow into the straw. Also, the warmth from your breath will melt the ice."
For the next suggestion, we would highly recommend using it fresh out of the box or bag, instead of used.
4.) Kitty Litter
Iuliia Alekseeva
Iuliia Alekseeva
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 "If you don’t have time to clear your sidewalk with a snowblower or a shovel, or if there’s some stubborn ice and compacted snow that just won’t budge, throw down some kitty litter or sand on your sidewalk or driveway. That will help give people walking over that area some traction, reducing the risk of slips and falls."
So remember to hit those front walkways, steps, the side of the house, and any landing that might be used for travel on and off of your property, with a generous dose of something to help create traction to keep folks upright.
Stay safe out there.

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