Stay Safe, Keep Cool This Summer

Summer is a time when many American families spend time grilling, swimming and entertaining at home. To keep your home, your family and your guests safe, consider some of these top tips for summer safety at home.

Grilling Safety

There’s nothing quite as fun and tasty as an outdoor barbecue, but you have to be safe. Keep your grill away from your home or other flammable structures, and keep a fire extinguisher or source of water nearby. Don’t wear loose clothing while you are grilling, and use long-handled tools and mitts to keep your arms safe from burns. Remember to never leave your grill unattended, and keep children and pets away at all times. And if you are using a charcoal grill, let the coals cool completely, then soak them with water and dispose of them outside in a metal can—not with other trash.

Swimming Pool Safety

Summer is all about swimming. But swimming can be very dangerous. If you have a pool at your home, you need to be very aware of the safety of your family and your guests. You must have a self-latching gate around your pool, and it is a great idea to install a pool alarm. Pool drains should have anti-entrapment covers, and children should be instructed to always stay away from pool drains. Never let anyone swim alone in your pool, and keep safety equipment, life preservers, and a phone nearby at all times in case of an emergency. Keep trip and fall hazards off the pool deck, and make sure running is strictly forbidden.

Play Set Safety

Young children love the play set, and having one in your yard makes every day play exciting and convenient. Make sure you check your play set regularly for rust, rot, damage, sturdiness or other potential problems. If you find any problems be sure to repair them immediately, and don’t let children play on the play set until the problems are remedied. Play sets should always be placed on level ground and anchored into the ground. Use wood chips or other soft materials underneath the play set to cushion falls.

Lawn Mower Safety

While not the most fun part of summer, mowing the lawn is a necessity and can pose dangers to you and your children. Never let children under age 12 operate a push mower, and children under age 16 should never operate a driving mower. You should never let children ride as a passenger on your riding mower, and in fact, children should remain indoors when you are cutting the grass. Pick up debris before getting started; toys, rocks and other materials can become dangerous flying objects if they are run over by the lawn mower. If you plan to walk away from the mower, turn it off. And use eye and ear protection at all times while cutting the grass.

One last tip: be sure to stay safe in the sun! You don’t want to spoil a good time with sunburn or heat stroke. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, drink plenty of water, and if it is very hot out, stay indoors during the hottest part of the day—between 10 am and 4 pm.

Don’t forget to review your homeowners insurance every summer so that you know you have proper protection for your outdoor fun. And if you have any summer toys like boats, ATVs or motorcycles, you need to make sure your insurance policies are up to date before you head out on the road or water.

Are you ready for summer fun? What do you do to stay safe?