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Icicles. If you ever watched the holiday classic movie “A Christmas Story” you know that Ralphie convinces his mother that the BB-gun wound he sustained was actually caused by a falling icicle. It’s one of the many humorous moments in the movie, and when the mother exclaims “those things have been known to kill people,” everyone laughs. But the truth is, those things have been know to kill people.

Several people are killed each year in the U.S. by falling icicles and countless others are injured. Cars and other property are damaged when icicles break loose and fall, and sometimes it’s not an icicle, but a large block of frozen snow that slides and falls from a pitched roof. Many business owners ignore these potential dangers, assuming the sun will melt them away but in many situations this inaction leads to disaster.


Icicles usually form when snow on a roof is melted from below due to heat traveling upward from the heated space inside the building. The resultant melted water flows out to the eaves of the roof and refreezes when the outside temperature is below freezing. Sometimes they melt, but sometimes they fall like dangerous missiles. It’s especially dangerous when frozen icicles are subjected to strong winds, and they crack and fall from very high elevations.

Property owners are urged to have a professional ice and snow expert inspect their roofs and areas below to determine if there is a dangerous situation. Now, in the warmer months it’s a good time to request inspections and consider options because an expert may be able to suggest a way to prevent icicle formation in the first place. It’s also a good time to make sure your overall winter safety strategy is covering all the potential dangers that come with icy, slippery sidewalks and parking lots.

Snow Expert Jeremy Swenson

Questions? We’re here to help. Call the office of Jeremy Swenson if you’re not sure what to do about safeguarding your property from the inherent dangers of snow, ice, and icicles. Preparation now will help provide peace-of-mind when winter returns. Jeremy Swenson: 816-564-9131

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