Keeping your deck secure is an important part of home maintenance. Children, guests, and pets can be injured when using the deck. Follow these tips to make your deck safer for everyone.
Don’t Leave Children Unattended
Young children should not be left on the deck unsupervised. Install a child-proof lock on the door leading to the deck area to limit access. Keep the door or screen closed and latched when an adult is not available to keep an eye on children outdoors.
Make Your Deck Safer by Securing the Stairs
A baby gate at the top of the stairs will prevent falls and keep children and pets from leaving the area. Some gates are pressure mounted and removable while others are secured to the deck for a more permanent solution. Older children may attempt to climb the baby gate, so make sure they are supervised even when there is a gate installed.
Keep the stairs clear of bikes, toys, plants, and garden equipment. Injuries happen most often on the stairs when items are in the way of foot traffic.
Check the Railings
Deck railings should be secure and not wobbly or loose. The pickets should be spaced no more than 3-4 inches apart to prevent pets and kids from getting stuck or slipping between them. There are products designed to cover railings if the distance between them is too far, which presents a danger to those on the deck.
Maintain the Surface to Make Your Deck Safer
Bare feet and paws can be injured on a damaged, aging deck, or burned if decking materials become too hot in the sun. Make sure that the floor is free of popped nails, splinters, and loose boards. An outdoor rug will help prevent injury to sensitive feet. Install a patio umbrella or large potted plants to provide shaded areas on the deck for pets to nap.
Remove Chemicals from the Area
Keep garden chemicals, cleaning supplies, and grill fluid out of reach of pets and children. If you must store them on the deck, consider a locked storage solution.
Keep the Grill Away from High-Traffic Areas
An adult should always guard the grill when it is being used around small children and pets. Even when the grill is cooling down, it is important to keep children and pets away to prevent burns. Teach children to stay several feet away from the grill at all times. Store grilling utensils out of their reach.
Making changes to pet-proof and childproof your deck will make it a more enjoyable and safe place to spend time this summer.