Heavy snow and icicles threatening to drop from the roofs of buildings have created dangerous situations for pedestrians in Helsinki. Real estate maintenance companies have cordoned off the pavements in the most dangerous areas. On Monday of this week abundant snow that slid off a pitched roof stunned a woman in the centre of Helsinki.
The latest serious accident occurred in 2003, when a 10-kilo block of ice came down and killed a man in Kuopio.
A walking tour in the centre of Helsinki showed that the warning systems should be improved, because people do not heed the warning signs seriously enough. They just walk between the barriers and may even stand in a dangerous area talking to each other for a while, not realizing the significance of the threat that may be lurking above them.
Moreover, in Kalevankatu in the centre of Helsinki, somebody had removed the barriers, and pedestrians were walking under thick icicles up to one metre in length.
According to the Finnish Real Estate Federation (FREF), the property owners are responsible for all damage that falling snow and ice causes to people and property. Problems arise when the responsibilities of maintenance companies are not clearly stated in maintenance contracts.