Children and pets love to spend time outdoors, especially with the days growing longer and warmer. Is your deck safe for them? Injuries can and do occur on decks every year. Maintain a safe environment for your family, friends, and pets by following a few important tips to make your deck safer.
Follow Tips to Make Your Deck Safer
Your children and pets use the deck frequently, but they may be at risk if you have not taken steps to create a safe outdoor environment. Learn about essential deck safety tips so you can identify risks that you may have overlooked. May is National Deck Safety Month, so use these steps and develop an action plan to promote deck safety.
1. Turn on the Lights
You may only have a porch light to illuminate your deck. With minimal or no lighting on your deck, hazards that could have been avoided instead become a threat. For example, a young child may bump into a sharp corner of a patio table. Children playing on a dimly lit deck could trip over a garden hose. Without adequate lighting, children or pets may even fall down the stairs. Upgrade your deck lighting so that bright light illuminates the deck from various angles.
2. Make Your Deck Safer by Removing Dangerous Materials
While parents do their best to childproof the home, they may overlook the deck. Everything from poisonous plants and lawn chemicals to sharp tools and tripping hazards needs to be removed before children and pets spend time on the deck. Keep your eye out for dangerous items to make your deck safer for children and pets.
3. Maintain the Decking
The wooden boards of your deck should be smooth and level. To prevent damage from pests, weather conditions, and regular wear and tear, keep the wood sealed or stained. It’s important to apply a fresh coat annually to maintain the condition of decking materials.
When any hazard or damage is present, take care of it quickly. This includes rusty nails, splintering wood, buckling boards, and deteriorating lumber.
4. Secure the Rails to Make Your Deck Safer
Railings protect people and pets from falling off the perimeter of your deck and the sides of the stairs. The railing can become weak or loose which makes it ineffective. Every few months, apply pressure to the railing. Even a minor give in the railing or balusters is a safety hazard. If you notice signs of damage, make repairs to prevent unnecessary injuries.
Deck safety tips are designed to help you identify risk factors and address them effectively. After reviewing these tips, look for potential hazards that need your attention. Improve your deck maintenance strategy to make your deck safer for family, friends, and pets to enjoy.