Backyard Safety Week of 2012 Building Safety Month campaign kicks off on Memorial Day weekend focusing on educating consumers about backyard safety with an emphasis on swimming pool and barbecue grill safety.
As families move outdoors to enjoy the warmer weather, special precautions should be taken to ensure outdoor areas are safe from potential hazards, especially pools and barbecue grills.Every day, about 10 people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children 14 or younger. Each year, grilling-related accidents send an estimated 20,000 people to emergency rooms and cause a reported $75 million in property damage.
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The International Code Council Foundation and the National Fire Protection Association provide the following tips for pool and barbecue grill safety:
- Make sure all gates in the isolation fence for your pool are self-closing and self-latching.
- Remove all chairs, tables, large toys or other objects that would allow a child to climb up to reach the gate latch or enable the child to climb over the pool isolation fence.
- Reaching and throwing aids like poles should be kept on both sides of the pool. These items should remain stationary and not be misplaced through play activities.
- All pool and hot tub drains (suction outlets) must have a cover or gate that meets industry standards for suction fittings marked to indicate compliance with ANSI/ASME A112.19.8 2007 (Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act). Check to see that these covers are not broken or in disrepair, and that they are anchored firmly over the drain openings.
- Install a pool alarm to detect accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water. While the alarm provides an immediate warning, it does not substitute for the fences, door alarms and safety covers required by the code.
- Install either an automatic or manually operated, approved safety cover to completely block access to water in the pool, spa or hot tub. Never allow anyone to stand or play on a pool cover.
Barbecue Grill Safety
- Place the barbeque grill away from siding, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. It is also unsafe to use grills in a garage, porch or enclosed area that could trap carbon monoxide. Never grill on top of anything that can catch on fire.
- When grilling, have a fire extinguisher, a garden hose or at least four gallons of water close by in case of a fire.
- Keep children away from fires and grills. Establish a safety zone around the grill and instruct the children to remain outside of the zone. A chalk line works great for this purpose.
- Never leave the grill unattended.