As families move outdoors to enjoy nice weather in spring and summer, special precautions should be taken to ensure outdoor areas are safe from potential hazards. Swimming pools, barbecue grills, gardening tools and fertilizers, and lawn toys all pose risks to children and adults alike.
Backyard Safety Tips
• Practice constant, adult supervision around any body of water, including pools and spas. Nationally, drowning is a leading cause of death in children under five.
• If you're considering a swimming pool purchase, contact your local Building Department first to determine exactly what permits are needed and what requirements you must follow.
• In-ground and above-ground pools, including inflatable pools holding more than 24 inches of water, must be surrounded by a fence or other barrier at least four feet high. Any gates in the fence must be self-closing and self-latching.
• Reserve a spot on a wall or fence near the pool for lifesaving devices, including a portable or mobile telephone.
• Steps and ladders for above-ground pools should be secured or removed when the pool is not in use.
• Use a cover for the pool when it is not in use.
• Make sure drain covers are properly fitted and paired or have vacuum suction releases to prevent being trapped under water.
• Consider installing a pool alarm that can alert if someone enters the pool.
• Spa water temperatures should be set to 104 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to avoid elevated body temperature, which could lead to drowsiness, unconsciousness, heat stroke, or death.
• Designate the grilling area as a "No Play Zone" and keep kids and pets well away until grill equipment is completely cool.
• Check propane cylinder hoses for leaks before use.
• Do not move hot grills.
• Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited, and never use any flammable or combustible liquid other than charcoal starter fluid to get the fire going.
• Don't leave toys, tools or equipment in the yard.
• Keep steps, sidewalks, and patios in good repair.
• Check all swings, slides, playhouses and other structures for sharp objects, rusty metal pieces, breaks or weakened support pieces.