Summer. Just the word invokes visions of outdoor fun and backyard BBQ’s. The season seems to fly by so fast we tend to pack it as full as we can in order to take advantage of every moment.
But in your haste to enjoy this favorite time of year, take a moment to make sure you and your family are safe from harm and accidents in and around your home. Keeping your family safe isn’t the only benefit. Taking a few precautions can be the key to eliminating insurance claims and keeping higher premiums at bay.
Enjoy Backyard BBQs without a Fire
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, an average of 5,700 fires occurs in homes each year due to grilling. That equates to $37 million in property losses. Over half of those happen from May through August.
Prevent your home from becoming an insurance statistic this year by following these simple reminders about grilling safety this summer.
• Never use a grill indoors.
• Place grills far away from buildings and fences and out from under eaves.
• Always supervise the grill when in use.
• Keep children and pets away from grills.
• Use long-handled grilling tools to avoid clothing catching on fire.
Keep Backyard Pools Safe and Secure
Having a swimming pool brings a lot of fun to summer, but is also comes with a great deal of responsibility. Houses with pools may need additional homeowners insurance to protect against the risk posed by potential accidental drowning.
The best insurance is to prevent accidental drowning when the pool is not in use. The National Safety Council (NSC) advocates four-side fencing that blocks pool access. Pool fencing should have self-closing, self-latching gates that are out of the reach of children. Remember to lock gates securely when adults are not around.
Make sure you do all you can to prevent a child from going in the water unsupervised. In addition to a fence, the NSC recommends homeowners install alarms on doors leading to pool areas, heavy-duty pool covers, anti-entrapment drains and, of course, close supervision of children near water.
Mindless Mowing Can Cost You
Whether you consider mowing the lawn a summertime pleasure or a seasonal chore, it’s more dangerous than most people realize. According to the National Agriculture Safety Database, approximately 75,000 people seek emergency treatment for lawn mower injuries annually.
Here are a few safety reminders to help keep you out of the emergency room this summer.
• Read the owner’s manual; familiarize yourself with safety procedures and proper maintenance.
• Always turn the mower off before attempting to repair or unclog the blade.
• Wear protective clothing, including long pants and closed-toe shoes.
• Never run a mower in a garage or shed. Carbon monoxide can build up quickly.
• Never leave a mower running unattended.
• Keep children far away while operating the mower. Sticks and rocks thrown by the mower pose an injury risk.
• Allow the mower to cool before refueling. Much like the liquid in a thermometer, gasoline can expand due to the high temperature. If the tank is filled too full this can create a potential explosive situation.
Open Windows Pose More than One Risk
For some, warm summer weather and open windows go hand in hand. However an open window is also an open invitation for intruders. Having your home invaded can cost you more than just your belongings. It can also rob you of peace of mind to where you no longer feel safe in your own home.
Keeping windows on the ground level of your home closed is the easiest option for deterring potential intruders. However if open windows in the summer are a must, consider investing in a window locking system. Most hardware stores carry inexpensive window locks that allow you to adjust the opening too small for a body to climb through.
While open windows on an upper floor are more difficult to access from the outside, from inside they pose a great risk to small children. According to Safe Kids USA, window falls are responsible for more than 3,000 injuries among children ages 5 and under annually. Consider installing window guards and keep furniture away from open windows.
Finally, if you use a window air conditioner to keep cool, be sure that there is at least one other nearby window to use as an escape route in case of fire.
Leave Your Insurance Needs to Us
Counts Insurance Agency has been enjoying the summers in Richlands, VA for years. We know you are busy with many summer activities, which is why we take care of the insurance details for you. Contact us today and we will review your coverage to ensure it meets your family’s needs. Contact us at (276)963-0335 Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm.