People want to enjoy the warmer weather as summer makes its way to Austin and the rest of Texas — and that’s especially good for your commercial property.
With higher temperatures comes increased site traffic (including at night), so make sure you and your property are ready to handle it all with a landscape safety audit.
These audits help ensure there are no hazardous areas on your landscape and that everything is working properly to prevent accidents.
Here are three landscape safety tips that will reduce your liability this summer — plus what can happen if you don’t incorporate these measures.
Replace and Adjust Landscape Lighting
A well-lit landscape is going to affect more than your property’s aesthetic value: Landscape lighting also increases your site’s safety and security.
Your landscape safety audit should include checking for dark areas on the property, which attract criminals and make accidents more likely.
All of the lights should be checked and replaced if they are out. They aren’t doing you any good if they aren’t actually working. Lights can also move over time — often from wind and rain — and might not be shining in the right spot anymore.
They should be adjusted to make sure the entire area is covered with light. Just moving a light an inch or two can make a huge difference in your property’s level of safety.
Trim Back Trees and Shrubs
Overgrown plants can easily become a place for someone to hide and take advantage of your tenants and visitors at night.
Plus, unruly trees and shrubs can also scratch people as they pass by and force them off of the desired path.
The safety audit should ensure all trees and shrubs are properly pruned and not blocking entrances, walkways or site visibility. You can also install lights around the foliage to keep the plant area bright at night.
Inspect and Repair Walkways
One of the main ways you control site traffic is with walkways. You’re showing people how you want them to get from Point A to Point B. So, those paths better be in good shape.
Look at the pavers or concrete to see if there are cracks, uneven surfaces or any other damage that needs to be repaired. Walkways need to be flat so they don’t catch people’s shoes and cause them to fall.
Having safe paths is especially important during the summer because more people will be on your property at night, and it can be harder to see the ground.
You should also check any fencing or posts along walkways to make sure they aren’t broken or out of place — which can cause tripping accidents or other injuries.
What’s the Worst That Can Happen?
You have enough to worry about as a property manager, and safety might not be at the top of your list, especially if you haven’t had issues in the past.
However, all it takes is one accident, attack or fall to make you wish you had incorporated safety elements. You’ll most likely be liable for the person’s injury if you haven’t taken steps to ensure your property’s safety.
That could add up to a few hundred or even thousands in legal fees and settlements — which could have been avoided if you had been more proactive with your landscape.
Any type of commercial property that has people on it can benefit from following a landscape safety inspection checklist. It’s especially useful on sites that have pedestrian traffic.
The Best Safety Tip Of All
Reducing your liability really can be as easy as getting a landscaping safety audit for your commercial property. We think this is the best safety tip of all. You’ll be able to catch current issues and fix others before they become major safety problems.
At Native, we offer safety audits for our clients to make sure their properties remain safe year round as part of our commercial landscaping services.
At the very minimum, we recommend these landscaping safety audits twice a year — once the weather warms and also in the fall before winter weather arrives — to help reduce your liability.
We perform safety audits — along with site inspections — weekly on the properties we manage. Our team constantly looks for things that could cause issues or need to be repaired. It’s important to have your site checked out before your busy season hits and you have a lot of pedestrian traffic.
Our landscape safety inspection checklist includes a variety of tasks:
- ADA compliance
- Dangerously low branches for people walking
- Low branches for service people on the property
- Irrigation water overshooting
- Holes in the landscape where people may walk and trip
- Unsafe wires sitting out around the landscape or pedestrian areas
- Overgrown shrubs
- Places that might attract rodents, insects and other pests
Start improving your commercial property’s safety by calling us at 512-918-2270 or scheduling a free consultation online.