The package recommended that you test it to make sure it works, so I put the turn on sensor in a bowl of ice to see if it would turn on...yay! it did!! SO the idea is to stick the heat tape to the underside of the ramp so any snow, sleet or ice will melt. I called the manufacturer and asked about using the heat tape in this way-of course they said, "no ma'am, we don't support that application". Pooh.
We have this 35' long ramp to enter our house. In the winter time it's like a ski slope. It's impossible to remove snow because there's a little edge all around it, plus, the texture of the aluminum is a nightmare! So I thought I would try something. I ordered a 60' heat tape-the kind that keeps your water line from freezing in the winter if you have above ground water service.