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Enjoy the Outdoors with These Summer Safety Tips

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Remember these safety tips when backyard hosting this summer.

With kids out of school and sunshine (usually) in abundance, the summer months are the perfect time to get outside. Spending more time outdoors also increases the potential for accidents, especially when hosting guests. With just a bit of planning, however, you can keep your family and friends safe to keep those summer experiences happy ones.

Check out these summer safety tips for outdoor activities.

Practice Pool Safety

Reduce the risk of injuries or drowning this summer by following these tips:

  • Inspect the fence around your pool. If you own a pool, you probably had to construct a fence that meets certain standards set by local ordinances and your homeowners insurance provider. Now’s a good time to make sure the fence can’t be opened by curious children. Verify that the self-latching and self-closing mechanisms are working properly.
  • Think about where you place your furniture. Make sure any furniture placed near a fence can’t be used by a child to climb over it.
  • Consider installing a pool alarm. These alarms alert parents or caregivers when someone (including a small child) enters or approaches the pool.
  • Keep rescue equipment nearby. Place life preservers, throw rings or rescue poles on a nearby fence so that they are easily visible and can be accessed quickly in an emergency.
  • Store pool toys after use. Scattered toys can turn an otherwise secure and safe pool area into a hazard for children, making it an attractive nuisance that draws them near the pool.
  • Ensure that all drains are equipped with drain covers that meet safety standards. Malfunctioning, loose, or missing drain covers can create a powerful suction that can trap and drown children or other non-agile swimmers.
  • Store pool chemicals in a secure area. The storage area should have a high shelf or a locked door to keep these substances out of children’s reach.

Drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages one to four. It can happen very quickly, so adults must watch children at all times when they swim.

Follow Safety Rules Around Grills and Fire Pits

Grilling is a time-honored summer tradition, and hanging out by fire pits has become popular in recent years. To keep family members and guests safe around an open flame or fuel source, establish safety rules ahead of time.

Follow these general outdoor fire safety rules:

  • Keep your grill or fire pit at least 10 feet away from any structure, including your home
  • Position the grill or fire pit in a well-ventilated area
  • Keep a fire extinguisher, hose, water barrel or sand nearby
  • Never leave an operational grill or fire pit unattended

If you enjoy grilling, keep the following precautions in mind:

  • Wear protection on your hands as you season or place food
  • Avoid garments with loose, hanging sleeves or shirt tails; tie apron strings in the back
  • Control flames by keeping a spray bottle filled with water handy
  • Clean the grill after every use to avoid grease build-up, which can catch fire

For grills that use propane or natural gas, make sure all the connection points are secure. Visually inspect the gas hose for abrasion and wear. Also, check for leaks by spraying the hose with a soap and water solution and turning on the gas. Bubbles indicate a leak.

While homeowner insurance policies typically cover injuries and property damage, it’s always better to prevent accidents in the first place.

Clear Away Clutter and Monitor Pet Interactions

The high energy of many outdoor activities can make it tough to keep track of everyone, including furry household members. Again, prevention should be a top priority. Look for any tools and toys lying around, and put them away. Block off or call attention to potential hazards, such as slick or uneven spots near the pool.

Monitor interactions with dogs. If your pets are anxious around other people, consider keeping them inside and away from guests during social gatherings. Negative pet interactions can be traumatic, and the medical expenses for dog bites and related injuries can be high. Take steps to prevent potential accidents and keep your property as safe as possible.

Manage and Clean Up Storm Damage

Because summer storms can be severe, storm damage and debris can change the way visitors experience your home. It’s true that you can’t control the weather, but you can prevent the aftermath from injuring your family and guests.

Protect your home from the elements and keep your outdoor living areas safe by following these tips:

  • Pick up branches and other debris so that adults and children can walk around safely
  • Assess your roof to make sure the shingles aren’t cracked or crumbling
  • Clean your gutters and look for signs that they overflow during thunderstorms (This is a common cause of water damage, mold and mildew growth, pest infestation, drainage and foundation issues, and siding damage).
  • Trim tall trees and shrubs
  • Remove tree branches that overhang your home, parking area and outdoor living spaces

Prevent Tick Bites

Already, the 2024 tick season has gotten off to a record-breaking start here in the Northeast. Even if you stay in your backyard and avoid hiking trails, you should still take precautions:

  • Avoid wooded areas with leaf litter
  • Mow tall grass that can create a tick habitat
  • Use insect repellent and/or treat clothing
  • Check family members, pets and yourself when you come inside
  • Shower soon after coming inside
  • Wash clothing and dry on high heat, which kills ticks

If you have any questions about your homeowners insurance policy, or if you would like a free insurance review, please call us at 877-576-5200.

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