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Proper Signage Is A Legal Matter

Premises liability is one of the more common causes for a civil lawsuit to take place. The simplest definition of premises liability is that a home or business owner has a legal duty to make sure a certain reasonable amount of safety is present in on the property. For a homeowner, this may mean not leaving a fully loaded gun sitting on a coffee table where any child can just pick it up and discharge it. For a business owner, this may mean ensuring that lights are on and functioning as intended in stairwells with no windows, so that people can safely walk up and down them.

What it can also mean is having proper signs up and about throughout a property. But how and why? We’re going to explain that now.

Signage Is Safety


There are some elements of a home, business or workplace that have inherent, unavoidable risk. When those risks are present, property owners must take the appropriate measures to warn people about them. If the public inadvertently get harmed as a result of not knowing a hazard is present, then it is the property owner that is liable for the injuries sustained, and thus may be financially responsible for recover or other damages.

For example, in the case of a homeowner, one very obvious risk is dogs. If a homeowner has a pit bull dog on the property that has been bred and trained for aggression, and then puts up no signs anywhere on the property that such a dog is present, this is a definite case of negligence. If a visitor, or even a city employee such as a postal worker is unaware that such an animal is on the property and gets attacked by the animal, they had no warning that they should be prepared for this possibility.

The same applies to businesses for both retail and commercial purposes. If a commercial building has paid for expensive security, and has even gone to the extent of surrounding the perimeter with an electrified fence there must be, at regular intervals, signage notifying the public that the fence is electrified. If no such signage exists, and multiple people are shocked, injured, or even go into cardiac arrest and death as a result of being inflicted with high voltage, electrical shocks, the company is responsible for these injuries.

Even signage for safety, not hazards, must be present depending on the situation. Signs for emergency exits, as well as signs for the location of fire extinguishers must be present in buildings accessible to the public. In worksites and industrial areas, signage that clearly denotes the locations of chemical showers, for example, must be present to ensure worker safety.

Make It Obvious


Always make sure that if you have a hazard, or a safety mechanism present at your home or business you have the appropriate signage to point it out. If you’ve ever been in a situation where no sign warned you of a danger to your person, and you became injured as a result, talk to an accident attorney and look into a case of premises liability..