During snowy and icy winters, sidewalks can be a dangerous place, especially for the elderly, children, and those with physical limitations. Businesses and public establishments are responsible for maintaining safe walking areas.
If you have a sidewalk or walkway on your personal property, laws and ordinances about snow removal can vary by city and state. Snow removal regulations are made to prevent injuries, as well as to prevent any legal issues that could arise. You don’t want to find yourself liable for an injury that occurs on or near your property, so it is important to take the following steps to make your property safe:
• Stock Up & Prepare. If you are a homeowner, you should be prepared to look after your premises. In the beginning of winter, stock up with equipment and supplies that you need, so that you will be ready when the first snow falls.
• Shovel Right Away. If possible, shovel soon after any snow has fallen. This may mean shoveling multiple times, but it will be easier on your arms and back if you shovel lighter, less packed down snow.
• Use Salt. Salt prevents ice from forming. However, it won’t go through thick snow, so make sure to shovel first. Other materials such as sand and kitty litter can produce similar results to salt.
• Get More Tools. Brooms, ice breakers, and snow blowers can help make certain tasks easier. A broom can help dust snow away to reveal ice or other hazards. An ice breaker or snow blower can be favorable when the snow is thick, wet, and heavy.
• Ask for Help. If you have physical limitations, do not risk harm by trying to clear snow yourself. If you are unable to clear your sidewalk, ask a family member, friend, or neighbor to lend a hand. You could also hire someone to do the job.
Doing these simple acts could prevent injuries, fines, and lawsuits. Keep up to date about your local snow removal ordinances by checking your state’s website.