Whether you’re a gardener or someone who enjoys using the grill, pool or patio in the summer, the backyard can be a place for fun and for danger. Travelers Insurance offers these tips for making your backyard safe this summer – first up, the pool, grill and play sets.
· Fence in the pool area to keep small children out – install self-closing and self-latching gates.
· Equip your door, gate or pool with an alarm.
· Check your pool’s anti-entrapment drain covers to make sure they are compliant with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act); visit www.poolsafely.gov/pool-spa-safety-act for additional information on the P&SS Act.
· Diving should be prohibited unless a specific area of the pool is designed for safe diving. Water depth and diving restricted areas should be clearly marked.
· Make sure no one swims alone.
· Less experienced swimmers should always be accompanied by a swimmer who has water life-saving skills.
· Have life-saving equipment nearby, such as a rope with life-saving rings, a reaching pole or rescue hook.
· Keep the pool area clear of glass bottles or other potential sources of accidents .
· Be sure CD players, radios and other electrical devices are away from pools or wet surfaces. When using electrical devices outdoors it’s always a good idea to plug them into a GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter).
· Follow all storage and usage instructions recommended by the pool chemical manufacturer.
The grill – according to the latest National Fire Protection Association statistics, gas grills have been involved in an average of 7,200 home fires per year, while charcoal or other solid-fuel grills were involved in an average of 1,400 home fires per year.
· Keep barbecue grills on a level surface away from the house, garage, deck or other structures, and away from children, pets and landscaping. They should not be used on a balcony or under an overhang.
· Soak coals in water and let them cool completely before disposing of them in a metal container.
· Remember that grills remain hot long after you are through barbecuing.
· Do not store propane tanks indoors.
· Supervise children.
· Regularly check for sturdiness, rusty bolts and wood rot, and make necessary repairs.
· Ensure play sets do not have openings between pieces that could trap a child’s head or neck.
· Place play sets securely on level ground and on wood chips or other soft materials to cushion falls and help prevent injuries.
Learn about other ways to stay safe in the backyard next week, and find more information at www.travelers.com.
Information in this piece provided by Travelers.
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