Date Archives: June 16th, 2021

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June
16

Summer's finally here! Time for cookouts, backyard parties, outdoor sports, and time by the water. All this time outside can lead to potential dangers, if we aren't prepared. With proper preparation and a safety plan in place, you'll be set for, what could be, your best summer ever.

To avoid accidents and pricey repairs, prepping your home for the summer months is a must. From steamy temps and unexpected storms to the general wear and tear on the inside and outside of your home, there are quite a few things to get ready for. First, we must take inventory of what home maintenance is overdue. From repairing broken appliances to cleaning out your air conditioning filters and ducts, summer upkeep projects can save you money in the long run and keep everything running smoothly. Conduct a home energy audit once every year, to determine where upgrades can make a difference in lowering your carbon footprint and utility bill.

To help keep the outside of your home looking great while keeping your family safe, be sure to add these to your to-do list:

 - Install sunshades or tinting to your windows to deflect heat.

 - Reseal any cracked caulking or weather strips on external windows and doors to prevent leaks.

 - Inspect outside your home for cracks and any overhanging tree limbs that could fall during a storm.

 - Double-check that flood insurance is included in your home insurance policy.

 - Spray your yard and home to protect it from pests and other creatures. Set traps and other deterrents, where necessary.

 - Schedule a yearly inspection to help catch termites before they cause major damage to your home's structure.

 

 

Keeping bugs at bay often entails the use of chemicals or pesticides, so safe usage should be top-of-mind. If you choose to use pesticides in and around your home, ensure children know to avoid any treated areas after application, for as long as manufacturer's instructions dictate. Always explain the dangers of all potentially harmful products to your children. This can help prevent injury from accidental exposure. Placement of a first-aid kit, with poison control information, and fire extinguisher on every level of your home is a smart idea - having them nearby helps you respond as quickly as possible in the event of an emergency.

 

    

 

Security and Monitoring

As temps rise in the summer months, unfortunately so do the rates of home break-ins and theft. On average, there is an 11% increase in home-based crimes during the summer months. And though we are now staying home more than ever before, this increase is enough to make one nervous during a weekend getaway. Thankfully, smart home technology has vastly advanced, giving homeowners control over their home protection and monitoring capabilities. Recent additions to the smart home market include indoor and outdoor cameras, motion detection lighting, and automatic locks that can alert you on your phone any time someone locks or unlocks a door. These devices are not only helpful for identifying and stopping burglaries, but they're also great for monitoring your children's activity throughout the home. Some devices even allow you to speak to your children or play music directly through speaker systems. Ultimately, the purpose of smart devices is to help streamline your life, making everyday tasks easier.

When we are around more often, like during the summer or shelter-in-place orders, our homes, appliances, and devices go through something known as home strain. And with a global pandemic keeping us homebound more than ever before, home strain is reaching new heights. As sheltering in place continues and as more people opt to work from home, this issue is likely to persist. The most needed repairs come from issues with power surges, broken appliances, and damaged electronic devices. To help counteract the effects of home strain, it's important to thoroughly clean your home, appliances, and other devices. Electronic devices and other household appliances run faster and last longer with regular cleanings. Regular cleaning also allows you to inspect for damage and fix small issues before they grow.

 

 

Grilling and Fire Protection

Grilling is an especially popular summertime activity. Improperly operated grillware can be extremely dangerous. This is especially true when there are young children in proximity, as they can accidentally injure themselves or others. A few things to consider before grilling this summer to keep your family and home safe:

Never leave a fire unattended. Constant monitoring will help keep the fire under control and prevent any potential injuries from children or pets getting too close to the flame. It is recommended to keep your grill at least 10 feet from your home or any other structures, and away from any overhanging trees.

When returning indoors, it is important to extinguish the fire. Never let it a grill burn out. While it is recommended to keep a fire extinguisher on hand for emergencies, a grill can be put out with water once you are done. It's also a good idea to keep a first-aid kit nearby in case of accidents or burns.

 

 

Pool Safety

Whether you have an in-ground pool, hot tub, above ground, or inflatable pool, children should always be supervised while swimming. If possible, enroll your children in swimming lessons early or teach them yourself. As they are learning, a life jacket or other flotation device should be put on before getting in the water. Become CPR-certified and always keep an extra flotation device and first-aid kit nearby. To ensure you know when your child is near the water, consider adding back door and gate alarms to alert you of any movement near the pool or hot tub.

Setting Safety Rules

The safety of their child is the goal of every parent, but it can be easier said than done. It is important to talk with your kids about summer safety, including the limits you've set for how far they can venture out or what activities they take part in without you nearby. In addition to installing safety measures like gates around the pool and locks on medicine cabinets, it's important to let your children know what type of play is and is not allowed. Playing in a parked car, for example, can easily turn dangerous in the summer heat. Always lock your car when it's not in use, even if it's just in your garage or driveway.

As children get older, they'll likely want to venture out to play with friends away from home. Before going out to play, establish ground rules for how far they can go and for how long. Ensure they are aware of the potential dangers of your area. Mobile numbers should be memorized in case of an emergency.

Whether your yard is relatively empty or full of toys, an inspection should be part of the pre-play routine. This allows you to address any issues you find before letting your children run around.

With summer in full swing and shelter-in-place orders continuing, you'll likely be spending most of your time at or near home. This makes total home safety more important than ever. While you may be able to make most repairs yourself, some things are better left to the professionals. Carve out enough time for cleaning and repairs - plus time for summer fun too!

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