With snow piled up around Falls Church — Fairfax County government released the following snow shoveling tips and video.
The state and county do not clear public walkways like sidewalks and trails, according to Fairfax County's emergency information blog. And though no one is "legally obligated" to do so, the county asks residents and businesses to help keep sidewalks safe.
Snow and Ice Removal Requirements for Residents and Businesses in the City of Falls Church
Property owners are required to remove snow or ice from sidewalks. Failure to do so properly can result in a fine by the Police Department. Snow and ice must not be placed on City streets. If you need help shoveling, call 703-248-5077 (TTY 711).
- Residential Snow and Ice Removal Policy: Residents must remove snow and ice from sidewalks 12 hours after snowfall. If the snow falls at night, residents have 12 hours after sunrise to remove it.
- Commercial Snow and Ice Removal Policy: Owners must remove snow and ice from sidewalks surrounding the property 6 hours after snowfall. If the snow falls at night, businesses have 6 hours after sunrise to remove it.
If you shovel, Fairfax County recommends following these tips, along with those in the video above:
- If you or someone you are with begins to have chest discomfort, especially with one or more of the other signs of a heart attack, call 9-1-1 right away.
- If you have a history of heart disease do not shovel without your doctor’s okay.
- Shovel small amounts of snow at a time.
- Push the snow instead of lifting where possible. If you have a driveway, move snow to the opposite side of where a plow will push.
- Use proper form if lifting is necessary: keeping your back straight and lift with your legs.
- Avoid shoveling under snow and ice covered trees and roof lines due to possibly falling limbs, ice and snow.
- Take breaks while shoveling and do not overexert yourself, especially if you are inactive or over 40.
- Dress in layers and wear warm clothing, especially because wind chills will be dropping below zero.