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What can property owners do to limit the risk of winter falls?

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2022 | Premises Liability |

Winter weather creates serious fall risks. Snow and ice create slippery surfaces that can eliminate any traction and lead to people going down.

Property owners have an obligation to keep their properties safe for anyone coming on them. In winter, that means being diligent about clearing away snow and ice. Staying on top of the matter is of the utmost importance to keep it safe.

24-hour rule

You should make sure to remove any snow or ice within 24 hours of the precipitation. This is a rule in Montgomery County. If you fail to clear the area in a timely manner, you could face penalties. This includes if the area becomes hazardous again due to snow plows moving debris into the path.

Do note certain municipalities have other laws about clearing time. For example, Takoma Park requires clearing by 7:00 pm the day it falls. And the area also requires businesses to ensure clear walkways during normal business hours.

Cleared space

You need to make sure you clear off a path wide enough for a wheelchair to pass through. It should allow for the safe travel of all pedestrians.

Other points

It is essential to ensure the clearing of walkways even if you are not home. You as the property owner have the responsibility to ensure the area is clear and safe. Make sure to put down rock salt or some other substance to avoid ice forming once the sun goes down. During a storm, it can be difficult to keep the area clear, but you should do your best and try to provide a preventative measure, such as salt, to keep it as safe as possible.