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Winter safety tips for California property owners

With seasonal changes and dropping temperatures, many California business owners will have more work to do maintaining their property, not only for the safety of their visitors and tenants but to protect themselves from premises liability claims. It is a good idea for them to keep a sharp eye on weather conditions. For example, if freezing rain or snow is in the forecast for the evening, they should ensure that snow and ice are removed from walkways and parking lots and ice melt is applied to keep tenants and visitors safe from falling and injuring themselves. Immediately attending to snowy exterior surfaces can reduce the chances for these surfaces becoming icy when temperatures drop, as well.

Further, because tenants and guests tend to track in snow and ice as they enter the building, property owners might want to place rubber mats or water-absorbing rugs by entrance doors to help keep floors dry and reduce the risk of accidents from slips, trips and falls. Warning signs placed in these areas can help remind people to use extra caution as well.

In wet and cold weather conditions, property owners may also want to check for water leaks. For instance, a leaky gutter could cause a walkway to become extremely slippery. Therefore, it should be marked off and immediately repaired.

Property owners owe a duty of care to customers and other guests. When a person is injured as a result of a failure of the owner to correct hazardous conditions, an attorney who has experience in premises liability litigation could be of assistance in seeking compensation for medical expenses and other losses that the victim has incurred.

Source: Facility Executive, "Tips For Winter Safety And Reducing Liability", Steve Greenwald, Dec. 1, 2016

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