Could You Have 100 Elephants on Your Roof? Fire Department Advises Roof Snow Removal, When Safe

Residents may want to begin roof snow removal before more weather moves in on Tuesday.

Residents may want to begin roof snow removal before more weather moves in on Tuesday.

Big Bear Valley, CA — With the heavy snowfall we have received, and more expected, Big Bear Lake’s Assistant Fire Chief Mark Mills advises the clearing of all roofs of snow accumulation as soon as it is safe to do so. Per the fire department, an average snowfall can weigh 10 to 20 pounds per cubic foot. This number, multiplied by the surface area of the roof and depth of the snow, can multiply quickly to result in a significant amount of weight being placed on the roofs of both commercial and residential structures. For example: a flat roof structure with a 100′x100′ roof area, with four feet of fresh snow weighing approximately 15 pounds per cubic foot, could place 600,000 pounds of weight on the roof of the structure–this is equivalent to placing 100 adult elephants on the roof! A structure collapse could result in a low potential for survival for those in the building. Given the potential dangers of heavy snow accumulation, Assistant Chief Mills asks for your help, in making sure that snow is cleared from your rooftop, as well as all roof drains, when it is safe to do so.

With snow weighing roughly 15 pounds per cubic foot, a 100'x100' roof area could place 600,000 pounds of weight on a roof structure.

With snow weighing roughly 15 pounds per cubic foot, a 100'x100' roof area could place 600,000 pounds of weight on a roof structure.

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