As many homeowners have discovered, adding a custom, private swimming pool to the backyard provides countless hours of fun and entertainment for people of all ages. However, never forget that an open body of water can pose a hazard if not handled correctly. This is especially critical to consider if you have kids.
While pool safety is important for everyone to understand and practice, kids can be especially vulnerable to potential dangers in an improperly maintained or protected swimming pool. The best way to keep your kids safe is a combination of safety training and special safety features to keep your pool safe. Let’s look at a few proven ways to protect your little ones.
Install Safety Features
Certain pool safety features, such as 4-foot high pool fencing in your backyard, are legally required. In addition to this basic precaution, consider adding a few extra safety features for an extra layer of protection. Ask your pool builder about adding a few things to your building plan:
- Closing and self-latching gate for the fence
- Pool cover
- Pool alarm
- Drain covers
Pro Tip: A swimming pool’s drain suction is too powerful for a small child to swim away from, whether it’s in your home pool or a public pool. If you visit a public pool and notice the drains are uncovered, it’s not worth the risk.
Prepare Your Kids
Do your kids know how to swim? If not, make sure they do! Swimming is more than just a fun summer activity–in an emergency scenario, knowing how to stay above water could easily save your child’s life. Sign your child up for swim lessons and encourage them to keep in practice.
Supervise Your Kids in the Pool
Even the most well-trained swimmer child is still a child. Their size and age make them vulnerable to unsafe pool conditions if they can’t properly swim or the pool isn’t properly maintained. Always keep an eye on your kids while they’re swimming, whether you’re at home or in public. It’s better to be a little too careful than to be careless.
Promote Pool Safety for Your Kids
A swimming pool adds monetary and entertainment value to your home and provides countless hours of fun. But make sure to keep safety in mind. With the proper safety features and precautions, your whole family can enjoy your pool safely for years to come.
Connect with us to learn more about swimming pool safety.
What custom backyard is complete without a fire pit? An open flame adds an exotic feel to your backyard parties and chases away mosquitoes with a light cloud of smoke. However, it’s always important to remember that at the end of the day, an open flame is still an open flame and must be handled with care. As you design your backyard features, keep fire pit safety at the forefront of your mind.
As cool as a fire pit is, if not handled correctly, it has the potential to be a dangerous addition to your backyard. Make sure that you and anyone else who will be using the firepit knows how to safely light, manage, and extinguish a fire. Use this guide to keep yourself and your partygoers safe while the fire pit is in use.
Remove Flammable Materials
Before lighting your fire pit, take a look at the area surrounding it. Is there anything that could potentially catch fire if sparks blew in that direction? Sweep twigs or other flammable debris out of the way to prevent the fire from spreading. A five-foot radius is a good rule of thumb. Additionally, double-check what you and others near the fire pit are wearing. Don’t wear clothing with long, loose parts (such as ties or scarves) that can hang into the fire pit if you lean too close.
Pro Tip: Many homeowners enjoy having furniture around the firepit to facilitate conversation. Make sure all the furniture you use for this is either flame-retardant or made of entirely fireproof materials.
Pay Attention to What’s Fueling the Fire
In general, there are a few flammable items that you should never use as fuel for your fire pit:
- Gasoline or other flammable liquids: These can splash out of the fire pit and present a serious hazard.
- Paper or trash: Burning paper has a tendency to pop and throw sparks out of the fire pit.
- Soft woods (cedar, pine, etc.): Like paper, these woods can pop and spark in a fire.
Extinguish the Fire Carefully
When you’re ready to put out the fire, douse the fire pit in water and stir the ashes with a shovel to make sure every coal is extinguished. As you clean the ashes out, be mindful of their temperature and how to properly dispose of them. Ashes can still retain enough heat to start a fire if exposed to flammable materials even after a couple of days. When you dispose of the ashes, avoid packing them in a cardboard box or paper bag to prevent spontaneous combustion.
Handling an Open Flame Safely
Fire pits are constructed with basic safety precautions in mind, so the chances of something going drastically wrong are low. However, managing the fire safely also depends on you to exercise caution and keep everything under control. With a little care and regards for fire pit safety, your fire feature is a perfectly safe and enjoyable addition to your backyard.
Join the conversation to learn more about safely handling fire features in your backyard.