Every homeowner who has an outdoor space knows what a huge advantage it is to be able to spend time outside. A cocktail in the hammock after work or a Sunday filled with play and laughter with children are just some of the uses for your backyard or patio. However, staying safe while performing these activities should become a top priority.
It is hard to have fun if you end up with cuts and bruises or even worse, if someone gets seriously injured. All the various outdoor home improvement will improve the quality of your leisure time but you need to make sure that the environment you unwind in is 100% safe. If you have in mind the following 5 tips, your family and friends will stay safe and therefore, happy.
A quick walkthrough
The best way to ensure safety is to know where possible dangers lurk. Walk through the entire outdoor space and note all the possible danger areas. During this inspection, you need to keep in mind that children are shorter than adults so take special notice of object that closer to the ground. You might not think much of a nail protruding from the fence that your pants can get caught on but this danger is in the level of a child’s head so the danger is greater for them. Also, don’t forget to look up because a tree branch that is dangling high above could come down during the next big storm. Here is a short overview of the most common dangers and how to decrease their risk.
All the things loose
One of the biggest dangers in any outdoor space are items that are not secured in one place and that loose or mobile by nature. For instance, all the handholds, like the knob on the gate, need to be bolted down so they are not loose. Furthermore, any protruding nuts and bolts need to be either tightened or sawed off in order to avoid the danger that someone might run into them and cut themselves. If you own a swing or a hammock, then check that they are tied to the tree or the wall tightly.
When it comes to the fence or the wall of the house or the shed, make sure the paint is not chipping away. Rust is another common problem on these surfaces so it should be scraped off and the surface repainted. When inhaled, the fine metal parts of rust can cause respiratory problems. The same goes for anything made from wood, as a splinter can easily come of and get lodger under someone’s skin, which is a very painful experience.
Danger from above
Like we’ve stated earlier, danger lurks from above as well. That is why you need to trim any branches that are dry and might fall down. The same goes for the roof, since tiles, flashings, and gutters could come off during a strong gush of wind and fly several meters away. Since the structure of the roof is rather complicated for a layman, it wouldn’t hurt to call in roofers to install copper roofing segments that are much safer than conventional roof tiles. The areas that are especially vulnerable are doorways, gazeebos, and patios because people spend the most time under this type of roofing.
Danger from below
Another common ground, pun intended, for potential dangers spots is the ground we tread upon. it might be funny to a cartoon character step on a rake and get hit I the head but this is not an unlikely scenario and unlike the TV screen, you will feel the pain, trust us. The most dangerous surfaces are tiles because they become slippery when wet after rain or during the thawing of ice. Anti-slip traction treads should be installed in some places to prevent your feet from losing ground.
During the hot summer months, some surfaces, like concrete pathways, might be too hot for children to tread upon and cause burns to their feet. The same goes for the cold period when you can get a cold by wearing unsuitable footwear outside. A patch of grass next to a pathway is the ideal solution because earth is much better isolation than concrete.
Holes in the ground
Finally, you need to secure all artificial and naturally-occurring holes in the ground to prevent people from falling inside. We are referring to manholes, depressions in the landscape, and swimming pools. The latter presents the biggest danger to children if they can’t swim. That is why a glass fence around a pool is not a sign of luxury but a much-needed security feature. Furthermore, cover the swimming pool during the winter period because it turns into a real hazard when empty.
Before you can say that your outdoor space is truly safe, you need to adopt a mindset that treats the backyard as a zone full of dangers. However, if you apply the tips listed here, they should be enough to make everyone feel safe while enjoying the outdoor experience.