I found a Great article in Housemaster's eNewsletter on Backyard safety I thought would come in Handy this July 4th.
There are many potential outdoor safety hazards around your home. Playground and pool safety are two areas of concern most homeowners are well aware of, but everyone also needs to watch out for hazards associated with gas grills.
Here are some tips to make sure your family and friends have a safe outdoor experience:
- Regularly check the condition of playground equipment for rusted, rotted, loose or otherwise damaged components or sharp edges.
- Make sure playground equipment is age appropriate. Provide suitable supervision.
- Ensure that there is a soft, hazard-free surface under and around all playground equipment. At least 9 inches of a base material extending out six feet is advised.
- Avoid using swings and other moving components that present a higher risk of injury.
- Check for entrapment hazards from gaps in the equipment that are either too small or “v-shaped,” which could allow a child or child’s clothing to get trapped or caught, causing strangulation. Also remove any damaged or loose hanging ropes.
- Make sure rails on elevated areas are secure and not spaced too far apart presenting a fall hazard, or too close together causing an entrapment hazard.
- Provide constant supervision of children around any pools or other bodies of water; but also be aware of the hazards of adults swimming alone. Keep lifesaving devices readily available.
- Make sure the pool is surrounded by a suitable fence and gate. Install child-resistant latches and water alarms.
- Make sure all electrical components are installed to code and in good condition. Do not allow the use of any electric-powered devices around the pool.
- Gasoline and propane should only be stored outside in approved containers in good condition.
- Make sure the gas grill is on a level surface and all components are in good condition. Check periodically for loose or damaged burners, grates, handles, and hinges.
- Separate the grilling area from the eating or play areas and make sure the grill has adequate clearance from trees and shrubs, deck railings and the house. A grill can get hot enough to melt vinyl siding even several feet away.
- Check the gas lines for leaks each time a new tank is installed. Do not attempt to light burners or strike a match if the odor of gas is present.
- Turn off the gas valve on the tank after every use.
- Bugs can take up residence in the gas burner components, especially if the grill has not been used for a while, blocking or upsetting the gas flow and creating a fire and/or burn hazard. Be particularly cautious if there are spider webs and other insect activity in the area of the grill.
- Do not allow children to use a grill and make sure children are kept away from the grill area until it has cooled down.
Remember, these tips are only general guidelines. Since each situation is different, contact a professional if you have questions about a specific issue. More home safety and maintenance information is available online at www.housemaster.com.
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