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Reducing Slippery Hazards Can Help You Avoid Legal Trouble

On behalf of Law Office of Jason Skala, LLC Jan. 11, 2019

In a previous post, we discussed the obligation of every property owner to keep their sidewalks and parking spaces clear during the winter. If someone comes to your home or business and slips on the ice, they could sue you for damages.

Therefore, it’s important to understand not just your legal requirements to clear away snow and ice from your property, but also the most effective way to do it. In today’s post, we outline some basic guidelines for limiting snow- and ice-related safety hazards on your property:

  • Shovel early and often. It’s important to stay on top of snowfall as it accumulates. Shovel snow right away, before it hardens or ices over.

  • Treat the ice. Once you’ve cleared a pathway, you may need to treat any remaining ice to avoid slippery walking conditions. Spreading salt on the sidewalk can help melt ice. However, use salt sparingly—and only in certain weather conditions. You should allow about three inches of space between each salt granule. In addition, salt will not melt ice below 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Gain traction. For added traction on slippery areas in any temperature, sprinkle sand or cat litter on the pathway. This will provide extra tread grip for pedestrians.

  • Sweep. Using more salt will not result in more melting; it will leave undissolved rock salt to be washed away, polluting the groundwater. Sweep up any undissolved salt to use again later on, or dispose of it properly.

Don’t let a slip-and-fall accident on your property result in a costly lawsuit. Take the proper precautions to limit slippery hazards this winter.