During melting snow and ice conditions, the city Department of Buildings reminds all builders, contractors, and property owners to secure their properties from hazardous conditions. Falling icicles and snow masses from buildings can be dangerous in a dense city such as New York, and can injure pedestrians, damage vehicles, and disrupt transportation if streets must be closed for safety reasons. 

If sites are not safely secured, the Buildings Department will take enforcement action with the issuance of violations, if necessary. 

The DOB suggests consulting a professional to advise how best to secure construction sites and buildings. 

To safeguard construction sites, builders, contractors and developers should take all precautionary measures including but not limited to the following:

·         Safely clear icicles and vulnerable snow masses from sidewalk sheds and supported and suspended scaffolds.

·         Clear roofs, overhangs and gutters of melting snow and ice.

·         Clear gutters and spouts of debris to allow proper drainage.

·         Call 911 if there is an emergency on a construction site.

To secure a building, property owners should take all precautionary measures including but not limited to the following:

·         Secure and clear roofs, awnings, umbrellas and overhangs of melting snow and ice.

·         Remove ice and snow from tree limbs and other structures.

·         Ensure gutters are clear of debris to allow drainage.

In the event that an ice condition develops that poses an imminent hazard to the public, building owners should immediately take precautions to protect the surrounding area.

New Yorkers are encouraged to call 311 to report dangerous snow melt conditions or 911 to report emergencies at construction sites or buildings. New Yorkers who suspect a building or property has been structurally compromised should call 911.

Under the city’s Administrative Code, property owners are legally obligated to maintain their properties in a safe condition. Buildings Department snow melt advisories are a courtesy meant to remind property owners if their responsibility for maintaining their properties. The advisories are not to suggest that the Department, rather than the property owner, is responsible for private property maintenance.

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