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Don't Slip Up

This holiday, remember to de-ice your sidewalk.

By David Wright / November 1, 2012

Don't Slip Up

With the holidays just around the corner, 'tis the season for ice and snow in many parts of the country. As you ready your home for the influx of dinner guests, try these tips for keeping your walkways clear and your visitors on firm footing.  

1. Rock salt is still the de-icer of choice for many of us. It's inexpensive and effective, dissolving snow and ice on contact. But be careful: salt can corrode concrete and be harmful to pets and surrounding greenery.

2. Alternatives to salt include calcium chloride and magnesium chloride. Available in crystal or liquid form, they can be applied as anti-icers before a storm and as de-icers afterward. They're costlier than salt, though, and can damage floors and carpets when tracked indoors.

3. A surefire defense against slippery sidewalks remains good old-fashioned elbow grease. If possible, start shoveling immediately after the snow falls and before it gets packed into ice. Just don't overexert yourself.

4. If you don't have time to de-ice, spread sand or cat litter on slick surfaces to provide traction and help prevent houseguests and other pedestrians from slipping and falling.

5. Since there are no guarantees against injuries on slippery walkways, it pays to protect yourself from potential fallout. Umbrella insurance covers you against claims beyond those included in a homeowners policy, including lawsuits arising from injuries sustained in and around your home.

Call 1-800-841-0728 or visit to learn more about the GEICO Personal Umbrella Policy.

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