Summer calls for barbeques, pools and fun in the sun. But the warm months also mean extra precautions to keep you and your family safe. In consideration of June being National Safety Month, here are a few home, outdoor and personal safety reminders to help you have a safe summer.
Inside the Home
Install a home security system: It’s always a good time to get a home security system, but if you plan on taking a vacation it’s best to install one before you go. Security systems give you the reassurance that all is well at home when you’re away. You’ll have a mobile app to remotely monitor your sensors, cameras and smart home equipment. You should also ask about professional monitoring for emergency responder assistance in case if you’re away and sensors are triggered.
Change your smoke detector batteries: Experts recommend testing your smoke detector and change the batteries at least twice a year. It’s important to make sure you have a working detector to alert you if there’s smoke or fire quickly for your family’s safety. It’s also a good time to ask your home security provider about a professionally monitored detector for monitoring specialists to send emergency help immediately if the detector is triggered.
Double-check your doors and windows: Now’s a good time to make sure your window screens aren’t torn and screens or locks don’t need to be replaced. Small tears in screens can be open invitations for bugs. And latches or doorknobs can be easy access for thieves to enter your home. Don’t forget to check patio screens and latches to make sure they’re secure, too.
Outside the Home
Tidy up your garage: If you have any liquids, paint or other flammables in the garage move them inside to a cooler space to avoid damage and potential fires from overheating. It’s also a great time to get rid of any clutter and dust to prevent pests and unforeseen dangers. You should also make sure your garage door, weather stripping and any panels are secure.
Keep the lawn neat: Summer’s the perfect time to add fresh flowers and plants to your home, but it’s important to keep them low to avoid giving lurking thieves a place to hide. Add extra lights around the yard for decor, but also to illuminate darker areas around your home. Add cameras and outside motion detectors to get alerts of what’s happening outside your home for extra peace of mind.
Clean the swimming pool: If you have a home pool, have it thoroughly and professionally cleaned before taking a swim. Bacteria can build up over time, so be sure to have a professional test the water, brush and vacuum your pool. Don’t forget about replacing drain covers, pool gates, childproof covers and other equipment for your family’s safety.
Secure your home: Before you leave town, make sure your doors and windows are securely shut. Consider setting automated timers for lights to turn on and off to trick thieves into thinking you’re home. And if you’ll be gone for more than a day it’s best to pause mail until you return to prevent identity theft and potential break-ins.
Don’t share your whereabouts: Checking into locations and sharing your whereabouts while you’re away could give thieves the information they need to know when you’re not home. Wait until you’re back home to post videos and photos. Also, be mindful of posting pre-departure messages about when you’ll be gone and for how long — it gives thieves more time to plan. Instead, share your plans and whereabouts with close family and friends to let them know you’re safe.
Pay close attention to your surroundings: Know where you are and how to get back to your hotel without worry. Take an extra phone charger with you just in case you need directions or to call an emergency contact. Exploring is fun, but make sure you’ve done research on the areas you’re visiting before traveling there to beware of any habits or laws that are different from your hometown. Keep a close eye on your belongings and others that traveled with you.
Stay hydrated: The summer months can quickly cause heat-related illnesses for both adults and children. Make sure you’re well-hydrated before going outdoors, every 20 minutes while you’re outdoors and after you’re in the air conditioner. Parents should know the signs of dehydration to keep their children safe including low energy levels, less urine than normal and drowsiness.
Pay close attention to traffic and signs: With warmer months near, families are playing outside more. Whether you’re walking or riding a bike, it’s important to teach children to pay close attention to road signs and oncoming traffic. Teach children to stay off of their phones while walking, biking or hanging out where cars pass to limit distractions.
Reach, throw, don’t go: Water activities are very popular during the summer, but they can be dangerous. If you see someone struggling in a lake or pool your first instinct may be to jump in to help. But you may be risking your own life. Instead follow the Amercan Red Cross’ recommendation, reach for a Coast Guard-approved water safety equipment and throw it to them. Once they’ve latched on, pull them to safety.