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Backyard safety tips for summer

Backyard safety tips for summer

 
May 31, 2011
 
Warmer weather means more fun family activities outside the house, including grilling, swimming and gardening. Though most homeowners naturally consider themselves safe in their own backyard, there are a few factors to address before the summer weather arrives to ensure homeowners have a safe and fun time outdoors.
 
Take time to check out the grill area
 
Families love firing up the grill on a warm summer evening, but before doing so, the International Code Council Foundation (ICCF) recommends homeowners perform a few checks on their grill area. For instance, wood or debris should be cleared away and kept at least 10 feet away from a grill's propane tank, and the tanks themselves should not be stored in buildings, including sheds. Old dented, rusted or cracked tanks should be replaced immediately, and the grill itself and its components should 
be cleaned before homeowners turn it on for the first time. There could be built up food left from last summer's barbecues, and aside from being less-than-appetizing, those elements increase the risk for fire.
 
Additionally, homeowners with a deck should ensure it hasn't weakened at all over the winter. Aging or broken patio furniture may also need replacing, said the ICCF, and if a homeowner has a fire pit in their backyard, a professional should be brought in to ensure it's still in good working order. Broken branches or leaves that may be hanging over the grill area should also be removed.
 
Inspect the pool
 
The ICCF also recommends homeowners with pools or spas stay on top of local codes to make sure their recreational area still falls in line with the law. Pool fences or safety measures may have broken or worn down over the winter, so homeowners should give these items a hard look before opening their pool. Homeowners should have already exercised good preventative measures in caring for their pool over the summer, which includes removing debris that may have fallen onto the pool cover. 
 
Homeowners are also advised to contact their pool company to have it cleaned and inspected before opening it.  Many people buy a home with a big backyard for the chance to enjoy lazy summer days by the pool or on the patio. Those afternoons can be all the more enjoyable if they take the time to ensure their safety beforehand.
 

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