A property owner can be held responsible when someone sufferes an injury while on their property or in their home. To avoid a liability case a property or home owner can make sure his or her property is well maintained and free from any unsafe conditions. The top five areas in and around a home that can cause liability issues include the following common locations.
Sidewalks, walkways, and paths can be hazardous to visitors. Uneven or broken concrete can cause a passerby to stumble and fall, which may result in ankle twists, sprains or even breaks. Loose gravel along paths can also cause visitors to lose their footing as they make their way to your door.
Slips and falls can happen to even the most careful person when sidewalks and walkways are covered with snow or ice. Property owners are responsible for the clearing and keeping safe of even the public sidewalks along their property.
Inside or outside the home, stairways that are not maintained or feature proper lighting and handrails, are a danger to the homeowner and his visitors. In climates with a lot of humidity, the rotting of wooden stairways is common. Rotted wood will not support weight and will collapse causing injury. Property owners who do not maintain their stairways and allow the structure to weaken put themselves and others at risk.
A poorly lit stairway, whether it be outside the home or inside the home, is a danger. Stairs leading to basements that are dimly lit will eventually result in a misstep and injury. Likewise, stairways without handrails are equally dangerous. All stairways should have sturdy handrails. Stairway spindles should have only four inches of space in between each so a small child’s head cannot become stuck, resulting in injury or death.
3. Private pools.
All home pools should be equipped with barriers that prevent unsupervised children and unwanted guests from entering the pool from above, under or through the barrier. All home pools enclosed by fencing should feature a pedestrian gate that swings outward and has a sturdy lock. The lock should be engaged whenever the pool is not in use.
4. Backyard play-sets and tree houses.
Any children’s play equipment including slides, swings and climbing walls can become potential hazards when children are left unsupervised or if any uninvited guests decide to come and play. Privacy fences can help to eliminate unwanted outsiders. Due to their height, tree houses can be a liability if a guest suffers injuries from a fall. Rotted or damaged wood may also be a safety issue.
5. Decks and balconies.
Much like staircases, decks and balconies when not maintained or constructed to safety standards can become a liability issue. Property owners must keep check for rotted wood as well as rusted or broken support pieces. When a deck or balcony collapse, injuries and even death can occur.
Property owners and their visitors can significantly reduce the potential for an accidents by practicing general maintenance and common sense.