Do you know the Snow Code?
The Department for Transport publishes guidance about clearing snow and ice outside your property, pathways to your property, or public spaces. The guidance says there is no law stopping you from doing this. Despite the myths, it’s highly unlikely you would be held legally responsible for any incidents on pathways you have cleared, especially if you:
●●Use common sense to make sure that you don’t make the pavement or pathway clearly more dangerous than before. People using areas affected by snow and ice also have responsibility to be careful themselves.
If you are going to remove snow and ice, here are some tips:
●●Start as early as possible – it’s much easier to clear fresh, loose snow compared to compacted ice that has been compressed by people walking on it
●●Don’t use hot water – while this will melt the snow, it may replace it with black ice, increasing the risk of injury
●●Be a good neighbour – some people may be unable to clear snow and ice on paths from their property
●●If shovelling snow, think where you are going to put it so that it doesn’t block people’s paths or drainage channels
●●Make a pathway down the middle of the area to be cleared first, so you have a clear surface to walk on
●●Spreading some salt on the area you have cleared will help stop ice forming – table salt or dishwasher salt will work, but avoid spreading on plants or grass as they may be damaged by it
●●Pay particular care and attention to steps and steep gradients
●●Use the sun to your advantage – removing the top layer of snow will allow the sun to melt any ice beneath; however you will need to cover any ice with salt to stop it refreezing overnight
●●If there’s no salt available, sand or ash are good alternatives