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Snow and Ice Safety Tips
Snow Removal
  • Avon’s Road and Bridge Department maintains the streets throughout town as well as the sidewalks and bike paths in the core areas. Roads are plowed after 1 inch of accumulations during 4 a.m. and 10 p.m., or later as required.
  • Businesses and residential property owners are responsible for maintaining their own driveways, parking areas and sidewalks following a storm. Any accumulation of snow must be removed within 24 hours after a storm.
  • Plowing or dumping snow onto Town streets or rights of way from adjacent properties is not allowed.
  • Snow removal activities must not obstruct access to fire hydrants and cleared spaces around hydrants must be maintained.
  • Private snowplow contractors must complete a “Snow Removal Contractor’s Permit” through the Avon Road and Bridge Department to operate in the Town of Avon. Visit www.avon.org/plowing to obtain a permit application.
  • Ensure snow does not cover natural gas or electrical meters. Snow can block the vents on natural gas meters causing a potentially explosive buildup of natural gas that can leak back into the building. Shutoff valves on gas meters and electric meters must be readily accessible and protected from damage resulting from falling snow and ice.
  • Commercial buildings, in particular, have a lot of equipment sitting on their roofs and should make sure that all equipment is accessible for maintenance and emergency situations.

Snow, Ice Overhangs Create Hazards
Town code requires that buildings must be maintained. Accumulation of ice and snow that might fall onto a sidewalk, street, alley or other public right-of-ways should be removed. Ice and snow hazards involving single-family properties remain the responsibility of the homeowner or tenant.

When deciding whether snow removal is needed, property owners should keep in mind the following:
  1. Older buildings should be shoveled when more than three feet of compacted snow has accumulated on the roof. Residences built after 1991 are more structurally able to handle heavy snow loads, but should still be watched because snowfalls may begin to stress even new structures snow load limits;
  2. Large icicles can be extremely hazardous;
  3. Six inches of blue ice is enough to cause ice dams that may result in damage to multiple structural components.

If you decide to remove snow and/or ice removal from your roof, use these tips compiled by the Eagle River Fire Protection District and Avon’s Building Department:

  • Your safest bet is to rake the snow off of the roof from ground level, but caution should still be taken. It’s a good idea to have someone nearby and never stand directly below the area you are cleaning, as even a small section of a roof can drop several hundred pounds of snow.
  • If necessary to get on the roof, be sure to have a spotter and never shovel alone. A fall three times your body height can be fatal. Use a rope and harness system, boot chains or traction soles and wear appropriate clothing for outdoor work. Take a bottle of water with you to prevent dehydration.
  • Be careful to avoid piling snow into piles before removing from the roof. Snow piles on the roof can result in a heavy point load and have been known to cause structural failure. Snow removal must be done in an orderly fashion. Note that steep sloped roofs will frequently slide and may dislodge roof shingles. Leave steep pitched roofs and tall buildings to the experts. There are numerous licensed and insured snow removal professionals in the area.

For questions regarding hazardous ice and snow accumulations on buildings, contact Willie Gray, the Avon Building Official at 748-4011 or by email.