Make the area safe
The most important thing you can do when clearing ice and snow from around your property is to make sure you make it safer for people using these areas - if it's going to be more dangerous, don't clear it in the first place. People using the area have a responsibility to be careful themselves, but you should still take great care.
Clearing ice / snow checklist
Follow the advice below to make sure you clear the area in the safest way possible:
- start early - fresh snow is easier to shovel and move than snow that's been walked over by lots of people
- make use of the sun to help your work: shovel off the top layer of snow so that the sun can melt what's below - but make sure you cover any ice with salt to stop it refreezing
- after clearing snow from an area, spread some salt on it (table salt or dishwasher salt work) but avoid getting it on grass and plants as it may cause damage
- if you can't get salt, use sand or ash instead
- be especially careful when clearing steps and slopes
- never use hot water - although it will melt the snow, it may refreeze later and create black ice, which is even more dangerous
- consider your neighbours - can you clear areas around their property if they're unable to do so themselves?
- if you need to shovel snow, don't pile it where it might block access to other places
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