As we close out the month of May, we get to look forward to the start of summer vacations & travel. As we sit on our back decks enjoying a three day Memorial Day weekend, we start looking forward to many more barbeques, backyard parties, & relaxing in the pool &/or spa. Maybe this is why the ICC decided the last week of Building Safety Month should be about Backyard Safety.
Personally I would have bumped weeks two (Disaster) & three (Fire) up a week & finished out the month with the Green tips. But I digress, so with no further ado here is this week’s top ten tips on Backyard Safety, with links to resources on the HTRC & elsewhere.
- Make sure all gates in the isolation fence for your pool are self-closing and self-latching.
- Remove all chairs, tables, large toys or other objects that would allow a child to climb up to reach the gate latch or enable the child to climb over the pool isolation fence.
- Reaching and throwing aids like poles should be kept on both sides of the pool. These items should remain stationary and not be misplaced through play activities.
- All pool and hot tub drains (suction outlets) must have a cover or gate that meets industry standards for suction fittings marked to indicate compliance with ANSI/ASME A112.19.8 2007. Check to see that these covers are not broken or in disrepair, and that they are anchored firmly over the drain openings.
- Install a pool alarm to detect accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water. While the alarm provides an immediate warning, it does not substitute for the fences, door alarms and safety covers required by the code.
- Install either an automatic or manually operated, approved safety cover to completely block access to water in the pool, spa or hot tub. Never allow anyone to stand or play on a pool cover.
- Check for warning signs for an unsafe deck, including loose or wobbly railings or support beams, missing or loose screws that connect a deck to the house, corrosion, rot and cracks.
- Place the barbeque grill away from siding, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. It is also unsafe to use grills in a garage, porch or enclosed area that could trap carbon monoxide. Never grill on top of anything that can catch on fire. (A gas grill on a wood or composite deck is fine BUT you should use a special BBQ mat to prevent grease & any possible embers from getting on it)
- When grilling, have a fire extinguisher, a garden hose or at least 4 gallons of water close by in case of a fire. (Ummm, just remember not to use water on grease or electrical fires as that will only make it worse)
- Keep children away from fires and grills. Establish a safety zone around the grill and instruct the children to remain outside of the zone. A chalk line works great for this purpose. Never leave the grill unattended. (I like that tip & will have to remember it for later)
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