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Common wintertime hazards that property owners should be aware of

Wintertime conditions place additional stress on everyone's lives. Connecticut residents have to always remember to take extra precautions in order to avoid the hazards of winter, whether it's going out for a walk or getting in their car and taking a short drive. Property owners also need to be aware of the additional possible dangers that can exist on their property during the winter in order to avoid premises liability issues. So, here are some situations that can spell trouble for them.

Property owners and managers need to make sure that ramps, sidewalks and stairways are clear and safe for pedestrians to travel across. They also need to make sure that the water flow from gutters and downspouts is not pooling onto sidewalks and walkways. This may seem harmless during the day when temperatures are above freezing; however, these areas can quickly turn to ice once the sun goes down. This condition can create icy sidewalks as well as slip and fall accidents.

Winter usually means an increase in visitors to stores and apartment buildings because of the holidays. Therefore, conditions such as heaving or settling in concrete slabs that residents know to avoid may not be recognized by visitors to the property. Their unfamiliarity with the location may lead to a painful trip and fall.

Another danger that property owners should be aware of is ice hazards that can be created by the shadows of other buildings. During the other three seasons of the year, this doesn't present a problem. However, during the winter, these shadows can cause a dangerous buildup of ice on sidewalks and roofs of the buildings that are in the shade.

Property owners must also make sure that all of their public walkways are properly lit. However, any Connecticut resident who has been injured in a slip and fall accident because of the negligence of a property owner may want to speak with a personal injury attorney in order to find out if there are legal avenues that can be explored.

Source: linkedin.com, "Premises Liability During the Winter Season," Accessed Feb. 21, 2016

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