When you think of summer, you think of days by the pool, backyard cookouts and fun in the sun! Your home’s safety may not be the first thing on your mind. If you want to make your outdoor spaces safer, just spend a little time going over these summer safety tips. You might find you just need to change few things around the house, and the result will be a safer, more relaxing summer for you and your family.
- Review your family’s fire safety plan this summer. Have emergency numbers and an escape plan, and make sure every one understands what to do in case of an emergency. Make sure you have fire extinguishers at hand before you use barbecues, outdoor grills or fire pits.
- Go over fire safety rules with children if they are old enough to understand. Don’t leave matches, candles, fireworks or grill lighters unattended where small children can get to them. It is a good idea to erect barriers to prevent small children from getting too close to barbecues or fire pits.
- If you buy any new upholstery, make sure it has the Upholstered Furniture Action Council (UFAC) hangtag, which ensures it was manufactured to meet the industry’s voluntary fire safety standards.
- Only buy sturdy patio furniture that won’t tip easily or fold up suddenly. Go over the manufacturer’s instructions for important safety information when you buy new outdoor furniture.
- Be careful with reclining and folding furniture. Make sure that children know they are not allowed to jump or play on them. Younger children should always be supervised.
- Children should not be allowed on outdoor tabletops. As so many are made of tempered glass, they can shatter causing injuries. Toys and tabletops don’t mix, either.
- Do not place furniture close to railings, especially near pools as younger children can easily climb over.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for opening and operating your market umbrella. Children should not be allowed to play with or operate the umbrella. Always make sure that it is adequately weighted to prevent tipping over. Also, always close and store your umbrella when storms are in the forecast, as umbrellas can turn into flying projectiles in strong winds.
- Before you begin using your outdoor furniture, examine it carefully for signs of wear and tear. Some older pieces may have become splintered or rusted. Straps can become frayed and woven seats can break down. Look for bent or broken mechanisms. Repair or replace damaged pieces to prevent injuries.
- When cleaning or repainting older outdoor furniture, use non-toxic cleaners and paints.
- Falls are a leading cause of injury in the home, outdoors as well as inside. And a lot of falls happen as a result of tripping over clutter. Provide storage for clutter in the form of patio storage benches, or buy other outdoor furniture that provides storage as well.
- Store all yard and gardening equipment safely, making sure to keep all chemicals out of reach.
Pool Safety Questions from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:
The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that residential pool and spa owners adopt water safety steps to prevent children from accessing the water when there is no adult supervision, and they are appropriately protected when an adult is available to supervise.
By asking and answering these critical questions, you can gauge the effectiveness of your water safety measures, and determine what steps need to be taken to protect children from drowning and submersion injuries:
- Is there a fence around the perimeter of your pool or spa?
- Are there self-closing and self-latching gates?
- Are there door, gate or pool alarms in use?
- Does your pool have anti-entrapment drain covers that are compliant with the P&SS Act?
- Are all pool and spa covers in working order?
- Has the public pool or spa you use been inspected to ensure it is compliant with federal, state and local laws?
- Has someone in the family received training in CPR, first aid and emergency response?
- Has everyone learned to swim?