Summertime is here and it’s time to start thinking about summer home safety.
The kids are out of school, the grass is growing, flowers are blooming, and opportunities abound for summertime activities.
In the excitement and anticipation of the fun, it is easy to forget about being safe in and around the home.
Ignoring simple home safety habits can turn a fun filled day into a painful and sometimes tragic one.
Summer Home Safety Basics
Safety should be practiced in the home all year long. However, the burst of summer onto the scene opens up a whole plethora of seasonal dangers.
The chores of summer must be performed with an awareness of the techniques required to complete the task safely.
Mowing the grass, considered a burden by some and a satisfying job to others can be fraught with hazards.
Follow safety rules when filling the gas tank. Never refill a mower if the engine is hot. Gasoline fumes are designed to explode, and spilling gas over a hot engine can lead to a fire.
Always remember the basic safety rules: Keep feet and hands from under the mowing deck when the blades are engaged or turning, never disable the safety stop features (that pesky second handle that must be held down to keep the mower running), and keep all guards in place.
Always do a quick look around the yard for any tools, toys, or other objects that may turn into projectiles if you run your mower over them.
That GI Joe doll can turn into an eye poking, window breaking instrument of destruction if launched by your mower!
In addition, when you use your string trimmer, either electric or gas powered, always wear long pants and safety glasses. A solid safety tip would be to keep all kids and adults away from the area you are mowing or trimming.
Mowing and trimming always produces some flying objects.
Gardening And Landscaping
Gardening and landscaping presents an interesting, yet potentially harmful set of hazards. Those 40 pound bags of mulch or fertilizer, if handled incorrectly, are capable of producing painful strains and back injuries.
“Lift with your legs, not your back.” Come on, we’ve all heard that one, but do we always pay attention to that wisdom?
Speaking of fertilizer, make sure you follow the safe practices of application listed on the bag. Got gloves, anyone? Speaking of gloves, you should also utilize other PPE (personal protective equipment).
An easily forgotten (usually on purpose…) summer home safety tip is to wear safety glasses when using any chemicals, powder or liquid. Knee pads will protect you from rocks or other sharp objects as you plant those flowers or pull those weeds.
And please, at least wear closed shoes, if not leather shoes. Open toe sandals, flip flops and bare feet are great summertime footwear for the beach, but are not suitable for safe yard or garden work.
Inside The House
Now let’s head indoors, the most dangerous place on your property. Simple, yet critical safety features for the home include smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Check your local building codes, and even if you have an older home, install detectors per the code.
Your Fire Department will assist you in the location and number required. Have a fire drill, plan your routes of escape, and have one area outside where all family members will gather.
Make Your Home Fall Proof
According to the Center for Disease Control, falls were the number one cause for unintentional deaths in 2005 for the 65+ age group, and the number three cause of unintentional death for all age groups.
Safe practices around the home will greatly diminish the chances for falls. Static fall protection includes proper handrails on steps and stairways, securing area rugs to prevent shifting with foot traffic, keeping clutter removed from walkways, and others. You can also prevent falls as you perform daily chores around the house.
Use a ladder or a step stool if you need to reach a light bulb or other object out of your reach. Chairs are not ladders. Buckets are not ladders. A stack of phone books is not a ladder. Your spouse’s shoulder is not a ladder.
Point made? A broken arm, hip, or wrist will wreck your summer. Using something other than a ladder to climb will lead to same. Don’t do it!
The preceding is not a complete list of home safety tips. You can however, have a safe summer if you use a little common sense, be alert, and be proactive with your safety planning.
Be smart, and think before you act. That additional minute it takes to retrieve the ladder from the garage may keep you from spending the rest of the summer in a cast. I want you to enjoy a safe and fun summer with your family.
By the way, you do have a fire extinguisher, right?Share With Your Friends