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Attractive Nuisance Dangers on Your Property - November 2017
It may surprise you that you are responsible for preventing
injuries to children sustained while they were trespassing on your property
that were caused by man-made conditions called “attractive nuisances.” These
might include features of buildings, walls or even man-made ditches. Property
managers and owners have the power to prevent entrance onto their property and
discourage young trespassers from getting hurt using fencing, illustrated signs
or other means.
If you have any reason to believe children might trespass
onto your property, treat the problem with the highest gravity. The real estate
and property management industries are especially at risk for attractive
nuisance hazard exposures because of the presence of vacant property, which is
much more difficult to monitor and protect. However, doing nothing to prevent
the entry or injury of trespassers creates a serious financial risk for your
As the owner of the property, you are responsible for taking
steps to assure that anyone who enters, whether welcome or unwelcome, stays
safe. While warning signs are an excellent start, many children may not be able
to read them, so it is important to find additional ways of protecting your
property. Ensure that gates are secured and fences are not easily climbed.
Adequately cover or protect any conditions, including pools, ditches, walls or
other man-made physical features that might present a hazard. This includes
covering pools to avoid accidental drowning, placing sturdy fencing around
hazardous areas and placing warning or “No Trespassing” signs. In addition, all
safety equipment should be stored and locked at the end of each shift to avoid
Property owners are also liable for maintenance and
security, making sure that the property remains safe for all visitors. This
includes the following:
- Fixing cracks or gaps in walkways
to avoid slip and fall dangers.
- Locking all hazardous tools,
equipment and chemicals away from the public.
- Hanging flood lights in areas with
- Hiring security guards for added
- Installing rescue equipment such
as ropes and poles.
- Installing alert devices, such as
flashing lights, sirens, alarms and telephones to alert security that someone
has trespassed onto the premises.
In attractive nuisance cases,
negligence means that the property owner was aware that someone could get hurt
on the property and did nothing to prevent it. If you take all necessary
precautions to protect individuals that are on your property, you are less
likely to be found negligent in a premise liability suit. For more assistance
in protecting your property, contact CMR Risk & Insurance Services, Inc.