Dangling icicles can be dangerousSubmitted: 12/06/2019
Maya Reese
Maya Reese

Dangling icicles can be dangerous
RHINELANDER - During the winter, people remove snow and ice from their cars, sidewalks, and driveways.

There is one forgotten area that can be deadly. An icicle or ice dam can weigh hundreds of pounds. Icicle-related accidents kill at least fifteen people in the United States per year. Rhinelander firefighter Scott Hefter says he has yet to witness an icicle related injury.

"Icicles can be dangerous. I mean, they could fall down off the building at any point," said Hefter.

He still believes they are dangerous and need to be treated with extreme caution.

"Keep an eye on your entrances to be sure that there's not icicles forming over it that could fall on you," said Hefter.

Hefter says changes in weather can affect icicles.

"It warms up a little bit and they could fall, so obviously you don't want to be underneath them when they fall," said Hefter. "You can get hurt."

Fire Chief Terry Williams works as part of the inspection department for the city of Rhinelander. He says last year there was a structure that collapsed.

"We did have the fa├žade and the burger king building collapse because of snow load," said Williams. "It wasn't the whole roof, it was just kind of a false front roof."

Williams says every roof in Rhinelander has to meet specific requirements.

"The state of Wisconsin UDC building code requires roofs to be designed and built to withstand 40 pounds per square foot of weight," said Williams.

The Fire Department encourages everyone to stand clear of icicles and try to knock them down as safely as possible.

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