Preventing Slip & Fall Injuries At Winter Open Houses
February 18, 2017
February 18, 2017
Open houses offer prospective buyers a chance to view, and consider making an offer on, your home – but slip and fall injuries can ruin a buyer’s impression of even the loveliest homes, and may even land the seller in litigation.
Here are some tips to help prevent slip and fall injuries during a winter open house:
- Shovel, Salt, & Sand All Paths & Driveways. Clear away snow and ice from driveways, sidewalks, and paths around your home—and remember to clear the sides and back of the house as well as the front approach. Put down salt or sand to increase foot traction and help prevent unwanted slips and falls. Visitors often want to walk around the outside of a house and tour the backyard area, so make sure to clear and prepare a path where buyers and real estate agents can walk safely.
- Place Absorbent, Non-Slip Mats Near Entrances. Winter snow and ice can melt into slippery puddles in the entrance, creating hazardous conditions for visitors to an open house. Protect your guests by offering absorbent, non-slip mats near entrances—both front and back—to help prevent mud and puddles from accumulating.
- Post Warning Signs in Steep or Slippery Areas. Warn visitors of hazardous, steep, or slippery surfaces, especially slopes and stairs. Post warning signs, especially when a surface is steeper or more slippery than it seems.
- Clean Up Puddles Promptly. Melting snow and ice become slippery puddles in entryways, and other parts of the home as well. Don’t wait until after the open house ends to clean them up. Keep cleaning supplies on hand, and mop up water, mud, and slippery tracks as soon as possible to keep your visitors safe.
- The Brighter, the Better. Well-lit, welcoming homes sell better in any season, but bright lighting also helps prevent injuries during winter open houses. Use strategic lighting to illuminate your home’s best qualities . . . and also to keep potential buyers safe!
All of the other safety tips for open houses are important during the winter too: clear away clutter, have at least two people monitoring the open house whenever possible, and put jewelry and other valuables in safes (or remove them from the property altogether). A little common sense and preparation can help keep your home, and your visitors, safe and reduce the risk of slip and fall injuries during your open house.