As we move into the warmer months of the year, grilling, landscaping, working in the garden, and spending time outdoors becomes more common. Unfortunately, many find themselves so eager to immerse in these activities that they forget to practice caution when necessary. Be sure to keep some of the following tips in mind to keep your home and family as safe as possible all summer long. Clean Sweep of Anne Arundel County always has your best interests at heart!
When You’re Grilling…
When grilling, be sure you are keeping a safe distance away from any structures or potentially flammable materials. It’s recommended to stay at least 10 feet away from your house, shed, woodpile, and anything else that could potentially ignite. This goes for wooden overhangs and garages, too!
We get it – it’s tempting to bring your grill under shelter if it starts to rain or if temperatures are cooler than expected, but it’s a risky move and ultimately not worth compromising the safety of your loved ones.
Own A Firepit?
Now, another popular outdoor activity this time of year is firing up that firepit in your backyard. This is another instance where the 10-foot rule should be applied. Keep the flames a safe distance from mulch, landscaping, wooden sheds, and the like, and be extra cautious on windy days. Overall, it’s better to keep the fires on the smaller side.
Ready to put the flames out for the evening? In the case of fire pits that run on coal or wood, a common mistake people try is dumping a bucket of water on the flames to extinguish them. This is another no-no! You see, rather than putting the fire out, this technique simply creates a crust cover for any embers that remain underneath. A better technique is to spread the coals or ashes out, then lightly spray them with a garden hose.
Also, if your fire pit runs on gas, be sure to check for gas leaks on a regular basis, and be especially cautious if you’re lighting it up for the first time since last year. Corrosion and deterioration could have occurred in these off-months that put you at risk, whether it’s due to weather, animal tampering, or something else, and leaks are not uncommon. A thorough overview is well worth your time!
Finally, we recommend investing in a screen or cover for your fire pit. There are designs specially constructed to keep the fire burning strong while protecting the surrounding area from stray sparks or embers.
Operating An Outdoor Heater
Now, on cooler summer nights or even when fall weather comes back around, many like to take out their outdoor heaters. As with fire pits and grills, keeping the unit away from flammable items is a must! When it comes to operating these systems, the biggest thing we urge homeowners to do is read the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly and make sure you know about all the safety guidelines before turning it on.
Some things to note are how long the unit can be left on, when to service it, and any distance restrictions. These are just a few of the many things you’ll want to keep in mind, so don’t skim over any important info – you don’t know what you might miss!
Ready For Some Yard Work?
It’s not long for homeowners to get the urge to roll up their sleeves and do some extensive yard work this time of year. If you find yourself motivated to get some stuff done outdoors just remember to wear light, well-ventilated clothing, and make sure you’re taking plenty of water breaks throughout the day. This will help you avoid getting overheated and experiencing dizzy spells when handling tools or climbing ladders.
It’s also important to keep your eyes, ears, and hands safe with gloves, hearing protection, and appropriate eyewear, whether that means safety glasses or simply a pair of sunglasses. Cutting some stuff up? Slap on a face mask, so you don’t inhale any harmful substances. These few minor steps can make a huge difference in your overall health and safety!
Pool Safety Guidelines
What’s better than going for a cool swim when temperatures get especially high? Not much! Just be sure all kids are equipped with appropriate floating devices and consider investing in pool alarms that alert you if a pet or child slips into the water when no one is around to notice. We strongly advise signing up for a basic CPR and first aid course – a few class sessions could make all the difference in saving a life should an emergency occur.
It’s also a must to invest in appropriate drain covers that push back and releases anything that gets sucked into the drain. This reduces the risk of kiddos getting trapped underwater. And when it comes time to cover the pool, purchase a pool cover that is thick, fits tight, and has spring-loaded tethers. If a pet or small child steps on a sturdy option like that, they won’t come close to going under, and you don’t run the risk of sticks or sharp objects breaking the cover, either.
In Your Home…
Outdoor safety is a must this time of year, but it’s important to ensure the inside of your home is protected, too! Be sure you have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed throughout the home, and check their batteries at least twice per year to ensure they are working properly. And if you don’t have fire extinguishers on every level of the home, it’s time to purchase those, too!
Also, now is an ideal time to invest your annual fireplace, stove, and dryer vent inspections. Summer is great for fireplace repairs because your system isn’t in use, and the job can be tackled in a more appropriate temperature range. And since birds have such a big presence this time of year, it’s not uncommon for your dryer vents and flues to become clogged, which increases the chance of experiencing a house fire significantly.
Need assistance? We’re always happy to help with it all! Call today to set something up.