Everyone loves summer, but don't let the laid back and relaxing attitude prevent you from keeping your property safe! Here are ten simple tips for keeping your home and your family out of harm's way this summer.
1. Position your grill properly.
Grilling your favourite foods in the backyard is a cherished summertime tradition, and you want to ensure that you are keeping yourself and your property safe from harm. Your grill should be at least 10 feet from any structure on your property (including deck railings). Floating embers can easily start a fire in the summer heat.
2. Keep pool water in the pool.
Residential pools come in many shapes and sizes, but a larger in-ground pool can hold almost 20,000 gallons of water. A leak in a pool like that can cause serious damage to the foundation of your house. If you are worried about this being an issue for you, inspect the integrity of your pool regularly and install a French drain somewhere between the pool and your house.
3. Know who to call after a storm.
A big summer storm can result in high winds, heavy rain and even hail. If you experience property damage it is important to know what to do and who to call. Choose a restoration firm who hires certified professionals to get your home back to normal as soon as possible.
4. Respect the fire pit.
Sitting around a backyard fire pit is one of the best ways to spend a cool summer evening. If you are going to put one on your property you want to ensure that you have it a safe distance from any trees or fences, and to only burn firewood. Each municipality has specific regulations regarding fire pits, so be sure to do your research and follow the rules.
5. Prepare your house for the weather.
Summertime can mean major weather! Minimize the damage to your property by taking the right precautions. Clean your gutters, keep tree limbs trimmed, and consider installing storm shutters. If storms are particularly hazardous in your area (hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.) create a disaster preparedness kit and ensure that your family knows what to do in an emergency.
6. Be smart about fireworks.
We generally recommend that you leave fireworks to the professionals, but if you find yourself hosting your own display it is important that you know what you are doing. Designate one adult to light the fireworks and make sure they are not standing near any sort of combustible material in your yard. Keep your garden hose and a bucket of water nearby to soak fireworks after they have been fired (use a bucket of water for spent sparklers as well).
7. Keep your tree house safe.
If you are planning on building a tree house for your kids; make safety a priority. Determine the height of the structure and what might happen if your child falls. Install railings and avoid rope ladders. You should also consider hiring a carpenter to take a look at your tree house to see if there are any extra steps you should take.
8. Prepare your family for potential loss.
Major damage caused by fire or a flood can take a heavy emotional toll on your family. Make sure that you explain to your children the potential risks in your home and yard, but if the worst happens it is important to hire a company who will guide you through every step and get your home back to normal as soon as possible.
9. Care for your outdoor structures.
The summer months can bring heavy rain and people have tool sheds or detached garages that don’t always get the love that they need. It can be easy to ignore structures that we don’t use every day, but neglect can lead to rotting, rusting and even major leaks. Consider hiring a professional if you notice any damages.
10. Check your deck.
We all love spending as much time as possible out on the deck, but millions of decks across North America are over 20 years old. Loose connections, rotten boards and popped nails can lead to damage and injury. Take a close look at your deck and if anything looks suspicious hire a structural engineer to help you make it safe again.