If you live pretty much anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere, but particularly in the US or Canada, you are intimately familiar with how long, how cold, and how miserable winter has been this year. Here where I live, we have gotten more snow this winter than in the past three years combined…and it’s only January. I can count on one hand the number of days when it has not snowed at least a little since our first accumulation (way back in mid-November), which means shoveling. And shoveling. And shoveling. Add in the part where I am once again on crutches this year, and being outside is miserable, especially since there are several steps leading to my house.

We have what are supposed to be anti-slip mats, but the problem is unless you pick them up when you’re not going in and out, they get buried under snow and ice and leave you no better off than you were without them. HeatTrak has an idea that can change all of that, and I love them for it. This is the Snow and Ice Heated Stair Mat, and each one is made of reinforced SBR rubber (pretty much the same thing as car tires, to give you an indication of their toughness). They are powered by electricity, and instead of just sitting there acting like any other door mat, they actually melt the snow and ice away.

They require absolutely nothing from you other than putting them where you want them and plugging them in. They come with a six-foot power cord, and each mat is connected in a daisy chain to the others by cables as well. That’s it. The trouble is, they’re not cheap. Each mat costs $90.00 US, plus however much it adds to your electric bill. But then you have to weigh the alternatives…an emergency room visit is not cheap, nor is missing work for several weeks while you recover from a fall. Depending on your particular situation, these may well be worth every penny.

Source: Coolest Gadgets

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