It’s no secret that timber frame home owners live for the outdoors. Post and beam homes, with their beautiful natural elements, seem especially at home in the wilderness and similarly attract those who love the great outdoors. With summer finally here, many of us are spending increased amounts of time outdoors. We thought this would be a great time to review some safety tips for the summer season. While summer may seem like a season with less safety hazards than the winter, every season has its risks that can be minimized with proper planning and care.
Secure Your Swimming Pool
Among children under five, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death after motor vehicle accidents. In many Sunbelt states, it is the leading cause of accidental death. Most of these incidents are tied to backyard pools. In order to protect young children, fencing off the pool is probably the best option. Four-sided fencing that surrounds the pool on all sides and is at least four feet high is recommended. Self-closing and locking gates are also recommended. Experts also recommend removing any toys from the pool area so children are less tempted to enter.
If fencing is not an option, then a safety cover is a good solution. These covers can support the weight of children and pets, preventing them from entering the water. As a bonus, they will also help keep the pool clean when not in use.
Be Safe When Grilling
According to Allstate Insurance, there are around 7,500 out of control grill fires each year, causing $70 million in property damage. The leading cause of these fires was objects placed too close to the grill. Make sure your grill is away from your house and any flammable objects. Even if it doesn’t start a fire, the heat from the grill can cause damage to your house’s exterior if it is too close.
The largest share of injuries from operating a grill occur when lighting the fire. If you have a grill with electronic ignition, use it. If you need to light the grill with a match, a long-handled match holder is a good idea. For charcoal grills, a chimney is much better than using starter fluid, but if you use starter fluid do not add it to an existing fire.
The heat of summer is also the perfect catalyst for creating thunderstorms. Of course, the safest place to be in a thunderstorm is indoors, with NOAA estimating that 99% of people killed by lightning are outdoors. If you can’t get indoors, then a metal-roofed vehicle is also great shelter from a thunderstorm. It is notoriously unsafe to take shelter under a tree, and even permanent outdoor shelters offer little protection.
Of course, these safety tips are just the beginning of outdoor safety in the summer season. We hope all of you barn home owners, and future barn home owners, stay safe outdoors in this and all the coming years.