Landlords and Small Businesses, winter sidewalk safety is a chore, but keeping your sidewalk clear of ice and snow during the winter might help prevent accidents and trouble.

Whether it’s written into the lease agreement or a municipal ordinance, snow removal and sidewalk safety could be your sole responsibility. We’ve all seen and avoided those storefronts or businesses that neglect to shovel their walkways and parking lots. And the truth is, their neglect simply becomes a hindrance to doing better business. In other words, they’re putting themselves — as well as their customers — at great risk for slips, trips, and falls. As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention…”.

If you have a lease that doesn’t specify whether your landlord will take care of snow removal, the responsibility may fall on you. If the landlord has an agreement that they will handle snow removal, failing to do so in a timely and effective manner may lead to complaints, injuries, and lawsuits. Many businesses and landlords purchase business insurance and liability insurance coverage for unexpected accidents.

Tips for de-icing sidewalks

According to Consumer Reports, here are some tips for de-icing.

  • Mix ice melt with sand. It helps reduce the amount of ice melt you use and provides extra traction.
  • Spread the mix evenly in layers. Spread a thin layer before the bad weather hits and then a second thin layer afterwards.
  • Consider rock salt. Regular rock salt works at temperatures above 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Get ice melt. Use ice melt with calcium chloride when it’s below 5 degrees Fahrenheit. It can melt ice in temperatures as low as -25 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Scoop up the extra salt. After the ice melts, scoop up any excess and throw it away.

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