by Janet Masters
Summer is a busy time when most people are “on the go.” It’s also a prime time for drownings, grill fires and home burglaries. Keep yourself and your family safe this summer by following these tips from American Family Insurance.
Dive into poolside precaution
• Never let children into your pool without an adult present. Even teenagers who are strong swimmers should always have a companion.
• Never leave children alone in the pool area, even for just a few seconds to answer the phone or check the stove.
• Keep rescue equipment such as a shepherd’s hook or life preserver at poolside. Also bring a portable telephone along when people are in the water.
• Remove all toys from the pool after swimming so children aren’t tempted to reach for them and possibly fall in. Don’t allow tricycles or wagons at poolside.
• Prevent young children from climbing up into an above-ground pool, even when it’s covered, by securing, locking or removing the steps or ladder.
• Check the applicable laws and ordinances in your area regarding fencing requirements for pools.
• As an extra precaution, always lock the pool area when no adults are present.
Barbecue your food, not your home
• Put your grill at least 15 feet from any building, and grill only on a flat surface that can’t catch fire. Do not grill on an apartment building balcony or deck.
• Never use gasoline, alcohol or kerosene to start your coals. Once the coals are on fire, glowing or smoldering, don’t put on additional lighter fluid.
• When you’re done cooking, soak the coals with water and close the grill lid and any vents tightly. If you have a gas grill, close the valve on the gas cylinder.
• Don’t move the grill or remove the coals for 48 hours, unless you can safely move the coals into a stainless steel pail.
• Be sure you have homeowners or renter’s insurance.
Safeguard your home and possessions
• Do not leave windows or patio doors open when you’re away. Also, be sure to close and lock your garage doors.
• Keep trees and shrubs trimmed, especially near doors and windows.
• Secure patio doors with a lock.
• Be sure to notify your neighbors if you’ll be gone for an extended period.
• Arrange for neighbors or friends to pick up newspapers and mail.
• Leave some shades up or curtains partially open so that the house looks occupied. Consider putting timers on your lamps and leave a radio playing.
• Arrange to keep your lawn mowed and maintained. Maybe ask a neighbor to park his/her car in your driveway.