Summer Backyard Safety Tips

Summer brings more opportunities for outdoor activities around the house.  Whether you’re spending time tending to your property or just planning a “staycation” in your own backyard, consider these outdoor safety measures.

By the grill

  • Keep your grill on a level surface away from your house, garage and any flammable objects.
  • Don’t step away from a grill while it’s on, and keep children and pets at a safe distance from the flames.
  • Think safety while cooking.  Use utensils with long handles, wear an apron and protect your hands with a long-armed oven mitt.
  • When using charcoal, extinguish properly by breaking up the embers with a long stick or grilling tool, then covering the grill to cut off the oxygen.  Or, slowly sprinkle the coals with water.  Once the coals are cooled completely, dispose of them in a metal container. 

In the yard

  • Before mowing, clear the yard of any debris or loose objects that could fly out from under the lawnmower and cause injury.  Also, never try to unclog a running mower, and never leave a running lawnmower unattended.
  • When using power tools – such as chainsaws or power weed trimmers – for yard work, wear protective gear and cover your eyes with goggles.
  • If you use pesticides and weed killers, wear protective clothing and don’t spray around children or pets.  Never use more than what the manufacturer recommends. 
  • Before you dig a hole in your yard for a planting project or installing a fence or deck, call your local utility company to make sure you avoid underground gas or power lines.

By the pool

  • Install a four-sided fence around the pool area to keep it separated from the house and yard.  Most safety experts recommend the fence be at least four feet high and include self-closing gates with latches out of reach of children. 
  • Keep the pool area clear of toys and other objects that someone may trip over.
  • Never allow children to swim without adult supervision. 
  • Place a sturdy pool cover over the pool when it’s not in use.

At play

  • Place swing sets and other play equipment on level ground, and make sure legs are properly anchored.  Place woodchips or another soft material underneath to help cushion falls. 
  • Inspect play sets regularly for any sharp bolts, screws, nails or wood rot, and make necessary repairs.
  • Pay attention to children at all times while they’re on play sets, tree houses, etc. 
  • When celebrating with fireworks, use them only as directed, and make sure an adult supervises all activities.  Wear safety glasses when handling fireworks, and have water handy to soak spent fireworks before disposing of them.    

No matter the summer activity, be wary of becoming over-exposed to the sun, and stay hydrated.  Drink plenty of fluids, and seek air conditioning if you become overheated.  And don’t forget to pace yourself, and have fun!

WBPI-0017 (6/14)

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