Snow removal & roof safety

Many of us in the U.P. have a heavy snow load built up on the roof of homes or garages, and removing the snow without help can be risky.

The Marquette County Health Department says, on average, four people in the county die every year by falling from a rooftop.

Winter is a common time for U.P. residents to go onto a roof, but Health Department health officer Fred Benzie experts say it’s never a good idea for a homeowner to do so.

He says roof snow can be removed safely from ground level with snow rakes, and he suggests asking a licensed contractor if your own roof’s snow load is heavy enough to require removal.

Low–hanging power lines can add the risk of possible electrocution, and the probability that a fall from a roof will result in a fatal injury increases with age.

Benzie says it’s common for many of us to still think as we age that we can safely perform risky activities out of a sense of invulnerability, and he says many U.P. sports fans will be familiar with at least one person who died in just such a fall.

It’s former Green Bay Packer Max McGee, who scored the first touchdown in Super Bowl history.

He fell from the roof of his home in Minnesota in 2007 while trying to remove leaves.

McGee was 75 years old.