Winter safety tips

Slipping and falling on ice is one of the most common injuries during the winter months. Slip-and-fall accidents often result in fractures or serious strains to the legs and ankles, particularly in adults. You can prevent slip-and-fall accidents by removing snow and ice from steps, especially the area beside the hand rail, and along sidewalks. Also remove snow and ice next to curbs, so people won’t need to take a giant step over the accumulated slush. It’s a good idea to use rock salt in heavily trafficked areas—it melts the ice when temperatures get warmer, and makes the ice more slip resistant. If the floors in your entrance ways or lobbies are tiled or made of concrete, use floor mats that are at least 15 feet long, so people can dry their shoes simply by walking on the mats.

Heavy accumulations of snow and ice can severely damage your roof. This is particularly true if snow storms are followed by rain; the resulting ice creates extreme weight on the roof. Removing snow from your roof can be dangerous, so consider hiring a contractor who holds a certificate of insurance for snow removal. Historically, the damage to the roof is not the expensive part of these claims, it’s the  water damage from the leaks. If repairs will take several days or weeks, cover the damaged portion of the roof with plastic tarps and seal the edges with duct tape to prevent additional water damage. Also, clean up any water inside the building as soon as possible to prevent mold growth.

The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us at or your attorney if you have any questions. The article may not be linked to, copied, reproduced, republished, posted, or distributed in any way by non-policyholders of Markel®, without permission.