NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New Yorkers could face a hefty fine if they don’t start removing snow, ice and dirt from sidewalks.
The City code states that every person who is in charge of any building or lot of ground in the city that has a paved sidewalk must remove the snow, ice, dirt or any other material from the sidewalk within four hours after the snow ceases to fall.
Businesses are also vulnerable and could face fines ranging from $100 to $350, reports CBS 2’s Magee Hickey.
The Buildings Department also advises that property owners safely remove ice and snow from rooftops as well.
Water from the melting snow can collect on roofs and present a threat to the structural integrity of the building, and the colder temperatures may lead to the water to form icicles that could pose a threat to public safety if not removed.
New Yorkers are encouraged to call 311 to report non-compliant conditions, according to the Buildings Department.
Property owners must keep their sidewalks clean and are also responsible for snow removal, according to the City.
In the event that the snow and ice are frozen so hard that the person cannot remove it, he or she must spread ashes or sawdust on the area, according to the code.
The City offers the following tips when preparing to remove snow on your property:
Tips for Staying Warm
Exposure to cold can cause life-threatening health conditions. Avoid serious conditions such as frostbite and hypothermia, by keeping warm.
- Wear a hat, hood, or scarf, as most heat is lost through the head.
- Wear layers, as they provide better insulation and warmth.
- Keep fingertips, earlobes, and noses covered if you go outside.
- Keep clothing dry; if a layer becomes wet, remove it.
Snow Removal Safety Tips
- Stretch before you go out. If you go out to shovel snow, do a few stretching exercises to warm up your body. This may prevent injury.
- Cover your mouth. Protect your lungs from extremely cold air by covering your mouth when outdoors.
- Avoid overexertion. Cold weather puts an added strain on the heart. Unfamiliar exercise, such as shoveling snow or pushing a car, can bring on a heart attack or make other medical conditions worse. Take frequent rest breaks, and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
- Keep dry. Change wet clothes frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.
- Stay safe. Walk carefully on snowy or icy sidewalks. If using a snowblower, NEVER use your hands to unclog the machine.
- Maintain an awareness of utilities when shoveling snow. Do not cover fire hydrants with snow when clearing sidewalks and driveways. Do not shovel snow into manholes and catch basins.
- Offer to help individuals who require special assistance, including seniors and people with disabilities.