Summertime and the living is easy! From barbecues with family and friends to lazy days spent relaxing by the pool, from making s'mores near a campfire and watching fireworks at your favorite local fairground, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the warm days of summer. In the midst of all the fun though, it can be easy to forget about important safety precautions...
Our outdoor safety tips about grilling, pools, fireworks, and campfires will help you prevent injury while enjoying summer to its fullest!
There’s no better way to begin the summer than by serving your guests summer favorites hot off the grill. However, grilling can present risks that range from fire to food poisoning. Be mindful of the items we introduce below. Doing so will keep your barbecue safe and enjoyable. To ensure the safety of your guests, keep these suggestions in mind:
- Place your grill at least 10 feet away from other objects, including your home, your vehicle or those of your guests, trees, and outdoor furniture.
- Before using a gas grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line to make sure it is not leaking and that is working properly.
- To minimize the chance of fire or carbon monoxide poisoning, only grill in open, well-ventilated spaces. Never set your grill up on a wooden surface like a porch, deck or patio.
- Do not allow children and pets to play near the grill until it is completely cool and covered.
- To prevent food poisoning, always wash your hands during food prep and grilling. Separate raw and cooked food. Do not use a plate or utensil that previously touched raw food for cooked food unless the utensil has been washed with hot, soapy water.
- Don’t leave food out that requires refrigeration.
- Make sure food is cooked thoroughly in order to kill any harmful bacteria that may be present. If you’re not sure, a meat thermometer will help!
Fun in the sun is even more enjoyable when you and the kids can cool off in your swimming pool. As a homeowner, you are liable for the safety of all swimmers. To help minimize risks, here are some tips you should follow to ensure that your friends and family enjoy your pool safely.
- Install a safety fence around the pool with a locked latch to ensure that children do not enter the pool without your knowledge.
- Children should always be accompanied by an adult when near or swimming in the pool. Children without proper swim training should wear flotation devices in the pool at all times.
- Keep rescue equipment, a first aid kit, and a phone at the pool area in case of an emergency.
- When hosting a pool party, it’s a good idea to assign several adults to the job of “lifeguard” for all swimmers. These individuals should not drink alcohol and should stay alert for swimmers in distress.
- Teach pool rules to all of your guests, especially children, before anyone jumps in.
- Check chlorine and chemical levels of your pool every day. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when adding chemicals to the pool and filtration system.
Fireworks are a staple at many summer celebrations like the upcoming Fourth of July. However, in Massachusetts, it is illegal for private citizens to use, possess, or sell fireworks, or to purchase them elsewhere and then transport them into the state. If you live in a state that permits the use of fireworks, here are some safety tips to help you avoid an accident:
- Only use fireworks and sparklers outdoors.
- Obtain any necessary permits for fireworks. You can review the firework laws for your state here.
- Wear safety goggles when handling or shooting off fireworks.
- Never give sparklers to young children. If your child is old enough to use a sparkler, show them how to properly hold it and explain that they cannot throw, run, or fight with a sparkler in their hand.
- Point fireworks away from people, houses, and trees.
- Only use fireworks as intended. Do not alter or combine them.
Is there anything better in the summer than the smell of a campfire? The taste of a perfectly roasted s’more is a close second. It’s important to practice these safety precautions when your friends and family are gathered around a campfire this summer to prevent injury and accidents.
- Before starting your campfire, clear the area of overhanging branches and brush. If possible, surround the fire pit with rocks and keep a bucket of water nearby.
- Only adults should start and maintain fires. Never leave the campfire unattended.
- Ensure the fire is completely out before going to bed. Cover any coals and ashes with water or sand.
- Cook marshmallows and other food with long sticks or utensils so that everyone can maintain a safe distance from the flames.
- If you have a fire pit in your backyard, it should be placed at least 10 feet away from your home and other objects. It’s best to place the fire pit on a brick patio.
- Have a bucket of water and fire extinguisher close by in case of emergency.
Grilling, swimming, watching fireworks, and sharing stories around a campfire are all meant to be relaxing ways to enjoy the great outdoors. By following these precautions, you will reduce your risk of injury and protect your friends and family all summer long.
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