Fire marshal reminds business owners to clear emergency exits

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- The snow mixed with cold temperatures could mean some businesses may have not cleared the snow from their fire exits. Clay Fire Marshal Dave Cherrone says he is concerned about hotels, schools and nursing homes where there are often a lot of people inside. If the fire door is blocked, in an emergency, they may have trouble getting out safely.

"You have to realize that the people that are staying not only in hotels, but in nursing homes and places of assembly-they have a certain level of expectation that they're going to get out," said Cherrone.

Cherrone says businesses should never have snow piled up in front of doors or ramps.

"It's much easier to move that snow now then when it starts freezing and hardening and then it's not going to open," said Cherrone.

Hotel Manager Tom Snell says he's trying his best.

His maintenance guys are continuously clearing 10 exits and trying anything to tackle the icicles hanging off the building.

"Shovels, snow blowers, I have the tree cutters to try to get the icicles down. They form and they're very solid right now so it's a challenge," said Snell.

Cherrone agrees it's time consuming, but says it's a lot better than a lawsuit or fines from OSHA.


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