There can be many challenges for a business come winter time, although none are more important than tackling safety for commercial properties with foot traffic. Because icy conditions and cold weather aren’t likely to slow many in Northern Indiana, getting ahead of the weather with an appropriate game plan is crucial to guarantee the safety of anyone on your property this winter. Here are a few of the things to think about when preparing your property or business for winter and why the right snow removal company can be an essential partner along the way.
It’s not all about the obvious danger zones.
Though targeting the most heavily trafficked danger spots (e.g. ramps, parking lots, walkways) is a must, your work doesn’t stop with the basics if you want to insulate your property from the adverse effects of winter weather. One commonly overlooked property feature to target would be any walking path that is off the beaten path of normal foot traffic. You might intend to keep pedestrians using official paths and walkways, but eventually, you’re likely to have a few unofficial routes added into the mix thanks to more adventurous pedestrians looking for a short cut. This can create icy pathways that tend to be skipped when it comes to regular maintenance, potentially opening up a dangerous can of worms in the process.
Instead of crossing your fingers and hoping that pedestrians utilize your official paths, safety can be improved by letting a snow removal expert keep the other paths appropriately cleared and de-iced. Not only do you dramatically cut down on the potential for injury but pedestrians are likely to appreciate a cleared short cut. Other spots that you’re not going to want to skip would be areas around fire hydrants, mailboxes, and dumpsters, which all need to be regularly cleared and de-iced. Dumpsters, in particular, can be problematic, as spills or leaks can quickly turn in to undetected patches of ice.
Test your property’s drainage.
Best done in the fall after a rainstorm, a thorough inspection of your property’s drainage can give you a very good sense of problem areas long before the season’s first snowfall. The right irrigation expert can help you form a plan that will let you stay on top of icy areas when the weather turns, which is much safer and easier than trying to determine drainage issues in the middle of winter. Injuries related to poor irrigation also tend to be particularly serious, leading many experts to recommend year-round inspections to monitor a property’s ever-changing features. By spotting troublesome zones, you can identify which areas need special attention or even completely block off spots that could prove to be particularly dangerous when the temperatures drop.
Don’t forget about what’s above you.
Even if all your walkways and ramps are clear of ice and snow, that doesn’t mean they’re perfectly safe until you’ve looked up to spot any potential problems lurking on gutters, trees, and rooftops. A falling icicle can significantly hurt an unsuspecting pedestrian. It can also shatter on walkways and create a whole new set of dangerous possibilities. Regularly looking for icicles that could fall in a walkway or outdoor gathering space, paired with the proper snow removal techniques, will give you an added sense of safety. Well before winter arrives, you should also look for trees or branches that could be brought down with heavy snow fall or ice. They can not only bring bodily harm but significant property damage as well.
When it doubt, let the experts step in.
While it can be tempting to utilize the same snow removal methods you’ve used for years, properly maintaining your property in the winter on your own can be extremely time-consuming and ultimately ineffective. Especially if your property has unique features that are difficult to handle, letting a pro step in can give you the peace of mind that you’re doing everything you can to avoid the downsides of winter weather. By forming a plan and identifying challenges in advance of the winter, you’ll be a step ahead when it comes to making sure pedestrians are safe and business is proceeding as usual.
For more information about winter safety, contact us.