When the snow really starts to fly and the plows start piling it up, the resultant snow piles can look pretty impressive. While snow is known for being soft and (dare we say) pretty, there can be some inherent hazards in snow piles. Far be it from us to put a damper on some of the fun you can have with these snow piles. Working with snow on the regular, though, has given us some knowledge we'd like to pass along to keep everyone as safe as possible this winter.
In this post, we are going to be covering three main hazards of snow piles so you can keep you and your family safe.
The Location of Snow Piles
When the snow is really coming down, the first priority for snow plowers and shovelers is to the get roads, walks, and parking lots clear as quickly as possible. While speed is certainly important and allows you to keep pace with a storm, where you put that snow is just as important.
You should keep snow piles away from the following locations:
handicap accessible locations
It's also a good idea to keep snow piles away from the entrances and exits of both residential and commercial locations. In the event of an emergency, snow piles could make it difficult for emergency response personnel to safely do their jobs.
Children Playing on Snow Piles
We know. We know. Hey, we were kids ourselves, too. And while it seems like harmless fun, kids playing on snow piles can actually become very dangerous very quickly. That's because some snow piles that may seems nicely compacted and sturdy can still have soft spots or even air pockets that could collapse under your child, causing them to fall in. If even more snow tumbles down on top of your child, suffocation is a concern, as is hypothermia.
In addition, a very common location for snow piles is along driveway aprons or by the side of the road. If your children are making snow forts in these piles, it is nearly impossible for snowplow drivers to see them. This could result in the plowing adding more snow on top of the existing pile and covering your child, or even crashing into your child while plowing.
Melting and Refreezing
During the day, it is common for the sun to melt snow piles. As this happens, the resulting water starts to spread to the area around the snow pile. This could be driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, and the like. As the sun goes down and it gets colder, that melt can refreeze and lead to very slick and dangerous conditions.
If you have the option, snow piles should be set close to drains, preferably the higher side, so that runoff goes toward the drain and out of the way. Otherwise, deicer around snow piles is a good idea.
While playing on snow piles can be a lot of fun, there should always be supervision present to ensure that, should something bad happen, help can be offered right away.
Of course, if you are looking for commercial snow removal services, we'd sure appreciate it if you would give E.P.M. LawnScape and Supply an opportunity. Simply contact us online or call us at (517) 990-0110 today!