The deck is your outdoor living space for grilling, relaxing, and hanging out with friends. In the summer months, your deck may be the main gathering place for your family. If kids and pets are on the deck, you need to take certain precautions. Deck safety can mean the difference between a fun, relaxing evening and someone getting injured. Make your deck safer with these 7 tips.
7 Tips to Make Your Deck Safer
You can’t prepare for every incident, but you can take precautions to keep everyone in your family safe and healthy. Here’s how to make sure that your deck is a safe area for pets, young children, and even adults.
Use Outlet Covers
If you have young children, you probably use outlet covers inside the house. You might not think to use them on the outlets outside, however, your child can get electrocuted by an outdoor outlet the same as an indoor one.
Make Your Deck Safer with a Permit & Building Codes
You may be tempted to skip the permit and start building a deck without one. But if you don’t get a building permit, you may not build your deck to code and can run into some serious trouble. These codes exist to make sure your structure is safe and in compliance. Building codes might limit your vision, but they exist for a reason. Make sure you’re up-to-date on the most recent building codes so your deck is safe and will last.
Also, make sure your deck is inspected after it’s built so you know that you’re providing a safe area for your family. If you haven’t built it to code, you may have to start over with a rebuild or it might be an issue if you decide to sell the house one day.
Keep Toxic Plants off the Deck
You might have toxic plants on your deck without knowing it. Some common plants are toxic to people and pets when consumed. And if you have young children, you know they’ll put just about anything in their mouths. Do your research to make sure that the plants on your deck are safe and non-toxic. Even common flowering plants can be toxic to animals.
Exercise Grill Safety to Make Your Deck Safer
When you’re grilling, make sure that little hands stay away from hot coals. Never leave the grill unattended. Your child or pet can end up burning themselves or knocking over the grill if unsupervised. Always stay near the grill throughout the cooking process.
Railings and Baby Gates for Deck Safety
When building your deck, install strong, durable railings that are spaced no greater than 6″ apart. Inspect the railings on an old deck and fix them if they are loose. It only takes an instant for your back to be turned and your child to fall off of the deck. Consider using a baby gate to block off the stairs so your kids and pets stay safe.
Don’t Let Your Pets and Children Run Around Unsupervised
Never leave your pets and children unsupervised on the deck. Pets can overheat on a hot deck quickly, and children are naturally curious and will wander. It doesn’t take long for an accident to happen.