Before the weather warms up, make plans for your outdoor living spaces. Your deck will be frequently used come spring. It’s a wonderful place for entertaining friends and family. Here are some ways to improve the safety of your deck for children and pets.
Inspect Railings to Make Your Deck Safe
Children love to hang on deck railings when they play. Inspect the deck’s railings and make sure fasteners are not protruding from the wood. Loose railings need to be secured. If you have a ground-level deck without railings, add railings for safety. They will help prevent children from falling off the edge.
Lock Doors Leading to the Deck
Make it more difficult for small children to go on the deck unattended. Keep the doors that lead to the area locked at all times. Install the locks high enough that children can’t reach them.
Provide Shade to Improve the Safety of Your Deck
Pets love to be outdoors. Unfortunately, when the deck boards get hot, it can hurt paws. Stone and composite decks can get especially hot. Use a potted tree, patio umbrella, or retractable awning to provide shady areas for pets.
Improve the Safety of Your Deck With a Locking Gate
Using a safety gate keeps children from wandering off the deck. A locking gate will prevent a child from leaving the deck area and getting hurt somewhere in the yard. A safety gate is also useful when you want to keep your dog from roaming the neighborhood.
Are the Slats Too Far Apart?
Make sure that children and pets can’t get their heads stuck between the slats or spindles in your deck railing. If you can’t add more spindles, add fencing to the railing instead. Does your deck have horizontal spindles? If so, it’s easy for small children to climb up and fall off the deck. Teach children not to climb the railing and install barriers to prevent this from happening.
Protect Against Splinters to Improve the Safety of Your Deck
Make your deck safe for anyone walking on it with bare feet. Sand any rough or splintering areas. Use the proper sealant so the deck doesn’t splinter. Pets and family members can get splinters when walking on a poorly finished deck.
Be Careful of Toxic Plants
Certain types of plants are toxic to pets and children. Learn about this issue when buying plants for your outdoor areas. There are resources online to help you identify plants that might be an issue.
Some families store the grill on the deck, however, this can cause concern for the safety of children and pets. Keep the grill away from high-traffic areas. Don’t allow the catch basin for drippings to become accessible to pets. Store grilling tools and utensils out of the reach of children.