For those lucky enough to have a backyard, it is an oasis of relaxation and an area of unlimited summer fun. However, even the best outdoor paradise comes with risks. Apply these safety recommendations to your backyard to ensure that your only summer disaster is running out of hamburger buns.
Proper Grill Placement: Always make sure to leave a 10-foot clearing between your grill and anything combustible such as deck rails, the side of the house, and overhanging plants. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a charcoal grill next to combustibles is a leading cause of BBQ fires. When you've finished grilling, coals may be cool to touch, but still hot on the inside. For proper disposal, soak coals with cold water and then place them in a noncombustible metal can.
Eliminate Standing Water: Check buckets and plastic covers any anywhere else water can congregate weekly. Dump any water to keep pests away. Even the smallest amount of standing water can give mosquitoes a hospitable place to multiply. These environments raise the risk of bites and infections.
A Safe Deck: Make sure to inspect your deck each spring. When inspecting, pay extra attention to the ledger board—the place where the deck attaches to the house—it’s the most vulnerable to water damage. We recommend waterproofing your deck every 2 to 3 years because moisture can seep in and warp the wood, increasing your risk of falls. To tell if moisture has corrupted the wood, look for splits and cracks. Another way to determine is if you can easily penetrate 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the wood with a screwdriver. If you can, the wood should be replaced.
Practice Swing Set Safety: Improperly constructed play structures can cause serious injuries to children. To prevent injury, construct the swing set on a level area with legs that are properly anchored. Once constructed, check tree houses and jungle gyms for sharp screws, bolts, or nails. After a long winter, inspect wooden structures to be sure winter weather hasn't caused them to break down or rot.
Each summer an estimated 2.7 million children visit the ER due to injuries around the pool or backyard. By following these simple tips, you can keep your family safe and focused on what’s most important—having fun!
Want to learn more? Download our free e-book: 5 Smart Tips for a Safe Summer