Even if you don't need to go anywhere, it's a good idea to clear a path outside your home after it has snowed, to make it safer should you need to get to your car, empty the bin, walk the dog or welcome visitors. Here are some tips to ensure that you do a good job without endangering yourself.
Start as soon as possible
It's much easier to shovel snow that has recently fallen rather than if it has been compressed by walking or driving on it, or if it has been left to freeze again overnight. If you can clear fresh snow early in the day, any sun that appears will have a chance to melt any ice below.
Make a clear path down the centre of the area to be cleared to begin with, so you can walk up and down, then clear snow from this path outwards in each direction. Be careful not to move snow to where it might block the paths of others.
Spread a little salt over any icy areas to melt it. Ordinary table or dishwasher salt will do - a tablespoon per square metre is generally enough. If you don't have these or are running low, sand can also be helpful. It won't melt ice as effectively as salt but will still help you walk more safely.
Taking extra care
Steps or sloping drives/pathways can be especially treacherous after ice and snow, so you may need to use extra salt on these areas to ensure they're safe to walk on.
Don't use water
Although it may seem like a quick way to clear snow and ice, hot water can easily freeze again to form black ice, which is not only hard to see but especially slippery.
Take care to avoid spreading salt on grass or plants as it may cause harm.
Helping the less able
If you have elderly or disabled neighbours, consider offering to clear their paths as well, and check to see whether they're coping in the cold weather.
If you've cleared an area of snow during the day, sprinkle salt or sand over it before it gets dark to help prevent any new ice forming on the ground overnight.
Wherever you live we hope you're keeping safe and well despite the current weather. Wrap up warm and stay indoors as much as possible.