Watch out for icicles this spring

Most of us know to watch for ice as we’re walking on sidewalks. Slip and fall injuries are especially common in winter. Yet, we can’t forget to look above us for icicles. Icicles form on roofs, doorways and powerlines. The higher up they are, the more dangerous they are. An icicle falling from 30 stories has a velocity between 80-90 miles per hour and about 1,000 pounds of force. This poses significant risks to people walking beneath icicles.

Spring is most dangerous

As the temperatures begin to rise in late winter and early spring, it’s common for icicles to begin melting. Coupled with the warmth of the sun, wind increases the danger of a melting icicle falling off a roof. These are typically the first beautiful days of the year but this is also when the risk of an icicle-related injury is most likely.

Protect yourself and your family

The good news is that there are actions you can take to ensure the safety of yourself and those around you:

  • Knock them down. If you can safely reach an icicle to knock it off, that’s the best thing that you can do. Just be sure that no people or property will be in its path as it reaches the ground. If an icicle is on a power line or high point on a building, avoid walking beneath it.
  • Keep children and pets clear. Kids and animals won’t be as aware as you are. Teach them of the dangers of falling icicles and to ask an adult before knocking it down.
  • Move valuable property. Falling icicles have been known to break windshields of vehicles below. An icicle could fall and damage your vehicle and the evidence could melt before you notice. Keep vehicles and other valuable property clear of fall zones.
  • Point out icicle threats to management. If you live in an apartment or notice a business with a potentially dangerous icicle situation, notify the proper establishment management so they may remove it.

Dont forget to look up

Watching for ice is often easy. You may even slide as you’re walking if you forget to look. The danger beneath your feet is important but so are the dangers above your head. As the weather improves, so does the risk for icicle-related injuries. You can still have a happy and safe spring with a little attentive care to what’s happening above you.

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