TRA Snow and Sun Standing Seam Clamps Help Prevent Roof Avalanches at Delaware Cabela’s

January 8th, 2014

Outdoor retailer, Cabela’s, is constructing their first store in Delaware with protection from snow and ice avalanches by using TRA Snow and Sun Standing Seam Clamps on the roof.

The “Caution: Falling Ice” signs are out again.

But not at the new Cabela’s outdoor specialty store in Christiana, Delaware, the first in the state and 48th in the US and Canada.  Customers will notice the familiar log construction, stonework, big windows, and metal roof.  Closer looks up at the roof will show evidence of Cabela’s attention to customers’ safety – snow fences which use TRA Snow and Sun’s standing seam clamps designed to stop dangerous avalanching snow and ice.  Cabela’s CEO, Tommy Millner, has stated that Cabela’s wants to “deliver a premier retail experience” and that premier experience apparently extends to the safety of customers walking in.cabelas

Experts agree that chances of being struck by an avalanche of snow and ice off a roof are not high, but when it does happen it can be tragic.   Every year hundreds of people are injured and many killed when chunks of snow and ice fall off a roof. At least one hundred fifty people were injured and dozens killed worldwide during the cold winter of 2010.  In addition building owners are sometimes sued for not protecting the public from falling snow and ice.  The upscale retailer, Neiman Markus, was sued when one man was killed from a large piece of ice which slid off the roof from their Chicago store.  That suit resulted in a $4.5 million settlement against them.*

Cabela’s is one of the more safety-minded retailers who are beginning to take precautions on their own initiative since most building codes don’t require builders to install snow fences or snow brackets or even to display caution signs about falling snow or ice.

During the winter, snow builds up on roofs. Then eventually there will be a warm spell, sometimes accompanied by rain, and the glaciers that have formed on the roof, slide downwards, usually quickly and without warning.  Being underneath when this happens might mean being impaled by an icicle!

Since Christiana receives snow between December and March with a snowload of 25 pounds per square foot, roof snow retention is an obvious safety consideration.  The roof on this Cabela’s rises 8 inches in every 12, so the chance of snow and ice sliding right over the eave is great.  A snow and ice avalanche can cause damage and even death to anyone who happens to be underneath when the avalanche happens.

snow rail, clamp on, snow retention, metal roofIn the case of this Cabela’s metal roof, the one-rail standing seam clamp on snow fence was chosen by HK Griffith for its ease of installation and engineered design.  Jake Owsley, Inside Sales Representative for TRA Snow and Sun, recounts, “Our C-2-1-Z one rail standing seam clamp was perfect for this job.  Its simple installation method of tightening down two 9/16” nuts with a torque wrench is a great labor advantage as opposed to set screw options resulting in additional man hours for installation.”

Tim Brown of HK Griffith Inc. stated he could save tremendously on labor costs because of TRA’s easy attachment method.   In addition, TRA Snow and Sun was able to powder-coat each part of the standing seam clamps to match the metal roofing product.

According to Owsley, “The customer contacted us in May of 2013 and we went through the free engineering process.   It’s very important we design a system that takes into account the specific snowload of the region, the roof type and the slope.  If those things aren’t calculated, the customer is taking chances on the snow fence being able to hold back an avalanche resulting in roof damage, injury, and even death.”

The Christiana Cabela’s standing seam clamps are being installed now and the store will open in the spring of 2014.  There won’t be any “Caution: Falling Ice” signs displayed at this new Cabela’s thanks to the snow retention system in place up on the roof.

* Cheryl J. Larsen, Special Administrator of the Estate of Donald Booth, Deceased v. The Neiman Marcus Group, Inc.; O&Y (U.S.) Development General Partner Corp., a corporation; O&Y (U.S.) Development Company, L.P., a corporation; Joseph McElroy, Robert T. Price, Larry D. Kenny and Larry Dematteo, Circuit Court of Cook County Number 97 L 11368.

H. K. Griffith, Inc. is a commercial/industrial contractor providing roofing and sheet metal services in Delware and the surrounding state for more than 35 years. They have built a reputation on high quality installation, preventative maintenance, safety and service. For more information visit

TRA Snow and Sun, Inc., located in American Fork, Utah, offers Roof Snow Retention Devices, Solar Mounting Systems and Roof Flashing Solutions. They supply to all types of customers, from the individual homeowner to the big developer and offer free engineered designs of all their systems. For more information call Jake Owsley at TRA Snow and Sun at 800-606-8980 or visit