3 Homeowner Tips For Promoting Outdoor Safety During Summer
Technically, summer is here through most of September, though in many parts of the country, it’s been unusually mild. Nevertheless, when the season is in swing, that means one thing: spending time outdoors. And if you’re a homeowner, that outdoor time can be precious. You want to soak up as much sunlight as possible before the air takes a chill and you’re right back in long sleeves.
This impulse is understandable, but you’ve also got to realize that there are certain risks waiting right outside your door. An unkept back yard, for example, can cause personal injuries to you and any guests you may host. Here are some tips to ensure that it’s the safest it can be.
Find and Fill
Almost every yard has potholes, and if you’re not sure where they are it can spell trouble. As an Allstate representative notes, “Careless contractors, dying tree roots, or perhaps critters making themselves at home can all be culprits in making your yard a minefield for potential injuries. So explore your yard, conduct a thorough walk-around and carefully examine the ground and grass for loose soil and holes that could cause a twisted ankle or broken bone. If you see loose soil piled around the hole, chances are it’s due to some kind of animal or insect. To keep those holes from coming back, you may want to call an exterminator.”
Grill Very Carefully
The cookout is a staple of summer, and if you’re the type who likes taking to the grill to impress friends and family, be careful. Careless grilling can cause injuries, house fires, and even explosions, Allstate warns, adding that you should do the following before cooking up that first steak:
- Check your gas grill for hose leaks, blockages, and holes.
- Never step away from the grill while it’s on.
- Grill away from your house, deck, and any flammable objects, particularly if it’s a windy day.
- If you’ve got a charcoal grill, don’t store it indoors after grilling if it still holds freshly used coals. Charcoal emits poisonous carbon monoxide until it has been completely extinguished.
- Extinguish charcoal properly by breaking up the embers with a sturdy stick or long grilling tool, then cover the grill with a lid to deprive the flames of oxygen for half an hour. If this doesn’t do the trick, slowly spray the embers with water.
- Test Tree Houses, Jungle Gyms, and Swing Sets for Safety
- Make sure the swing set is on a level area and the legs are properly anchored underground and set in concrete.
- Check tree houses and jungle gyms for sharp screws, bolts, or nails.
- Double-check wooden structures to be sure winter weather hasn’t caused them to break down or rot.
- Examine the branches that support the tree house. Make sure they’re still sturdy and don’t show any signs of rot or damage.
Practice Pool Safety
If you’re fortunate enough to have a pool, make sure that you or someone you love doesn’t become a statistic. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC) estimates that thousands of swimming pool injuries and drowning incidents occur every year, with many involving young children. Some basic pool safety tips include:
- Never allowing children to swim unsupervised.
- Installing a fence around the pool.
- Keeping flotation devices and a pool hook handy to aid in a rescue situation.
- Checking the pool’s drain and suction covers to guard against accidental entrapment, which can lead to drowning.
- Removing harmful tools and pesticides from the area.
Don’t live in fear of what might go wrong to knock your summer off-course, but do take precautions. Realize that when you’re outside with guests and a lot is happening, it’s easy to miss something. By ensuring that your grounds are well-kept and that you’re practicing safety best practices in some of the most common situations, you can ensure the well-being of all your guests.