Snow retention is an often overlooked safety method for building or homeowners, but tools such as a snow rail can stop injuries or other accidents from occurring. Every year accidents occur from the hazard of rooftop snow and ice sheets falling onto people. This is an important and costly problem that could be averted relatively easily (and affordably) with devices like a snow rail, a snow slip, or other such devices. Injuries of a serious nature are uncommon enough, though, that many people do not think twice about this safety measure. This does not mean it is something homeowners and other building owners should skip without some other good snow removal plan.
Every winter people are hurt by falling ice and snow that can accumulate on rooftops of structures above pedestrians and foot-traffic. Often this threat is not very serious, but many incidents have exemplified why this is an important, and even fatal, issue that should be addressed. A snow rail or bar could circumvent this problem, but many building owners do not bother with any retention devices or even snow removal, and a few unfortunate car owners or people pay the price for parking or standing near their unsafe rooftops.
Many accidents exemplify this problem. For instance, in Boston in 2011, a woman’s car was totally crushed by falling rooftop snow. She was lucky that she wasn’t in her car, but the damage was significant. The roof of the car was crushed as the vehicle sat by a building without proper snow retention or removal. The woman had actually experienced the exact same thing three years prior! Snow had fallen on her car causing about $3000 in damage. This second incident tore her car’s roof off the frame. Building owners in her neighborhood were forced to rethink their snow removal or ponder their lack of retention methods.
Some owners are fortunate that their lack of snow retention devices like a snow clip only leads to damage to personal property. In 2010, St. Petersburg, Russia had over 150 people injured and another five killed from falling snow and icicles from rooftops. While snow and ice removal is far the most common strategy there, snow retention devices such as a snow rail may have helped prevent those calamities that deadly winter. Individual homeowners can usually do the most to protect pedestrians or residents, instead of private or government snow removal services. The number of incidents demonstrates that melting snow and ice falling from rooftops is not an uncommon threat.
The threat to pedestrians and others near or under unprotected rooftops with snow and ice are well documented. Military construction guidelines suggest that human lives and property can be protected with proper roofing systems. They also suggest that steeply pitched rooftops and those with slippery roofing materials increase these risks. Aside from the threat to human life or personal property, structures themselves can also be damaged without snow retention tools like a snow rail or snow removal.
Devices like a snow clip or snow rail can do much to prevent the many dangers of rooftop snow and ice accumulation.
Author: Roxy AlbrightThis author has published 6 articles so far.