The end of July is upon us and that means summer fun is in full swing! Pool parties, days at the beach,splash park fun, family bike rides, campfire and summer festivals. It seems like nothing bad could happen when the sun is shining right? Unfortunately, summer rain washing out your picnic isn't the only thing to watch out for this summer.
Here are a couple of things that homeowners should be aware of in order to make the most of the season.
A summer day may seem like a good time to make renovations around the house, repair the roof or trim an overgrown tree however be careful because a fall from the roof or ceiling can cause serious injury or death. Make sure that your ladder has slip-resistant feet and that the ground under the ladder is level. Be sure to walk up and down ladders carefully and it's a good idea to have a spotter with you in case you should slip or the ladder should tip over. If the job is too big or you don't have the suitable equipment or expertise, be sure to bit the bullet and hire a professional.
Thousands of Canadians are allergic to various types of insect stings, many people are at a higher risk for life-threatening reactions. Stinging insects such as bees, wasps, hornets and yellow jackets are most active in the late summer and early fall. Unfortunately insect stings will send many folks to the emergency room this summer, so it is important to take measures to protect yourself. Use proper bug repellant when camping or spending time outside, don't let water sit idle anywhere on your property and keep garbage contained and disposed of regularly to limit unfriendly bugs.
Depending on where you live, summer can bring some pretty extreme weather. This summer has already brought several thunder storms and tornado warnings. Secure patio furniture and lawn ornaments to protect your home and belongings as well as avoiding possible damage for your neighbours. Even though Ontario is not usually subject to hurricanes or large tornados like other regions, extreme wind and hail from summer storms can cause thousands of dollars for homeowners. It's a good idea to consider impact-resistant roofing, ensure that windows lock securely and that all the fencing on your property is in good repair.
Every has heard the warning to be careful not to step on a rusty nail or risk contracting Tetanus. But that's not the only place you need to beware of, the bacteria that cause tetanus can be found in more places than you would think. Besides rusty nails, watch out for soil, dust and animal feces. When the bacteria enters a cut or sore on your body, spores may produce a powerful toxin called tetanospasmin, which actively impairs the nerves that control your muscles. The best defense is to ensure that everyone in your family has up-to-date tetanus shots and be sure to wear shoes and gloves when working outside.
A lightning strike can possibly set fire to your home, but the risk of a house fire is more likely to come from outdoor activities like fireworks, campfires and barbequing. Take precautions to avoid accidental fires; equip all your living areas with smoke detectors and up-to-date fire extinguishers and take care with children around any open flame. Never light fireworks indoors or near your home and ensure that you have a bucket of water handy just in case. After a campfire, dispose of hot coals properly, douse the fire pit with water and know your towns regulations on outdoor burning.
Before you plant a tree, install a decorative pond or build a gazebo, find out if and where any utility or gas lines are buried under your property. When you dig down, there is a real danger of hitting underground gas and power lines. Make sure you contact your hydro and gas companies before starting a project and they will send someone to survey your property and mark the approximate location of underground lines, pipes and cables.
Usually mowing the lawn is just a pesky chore that homeowners would rather avoid at all costs. But thousands of people every year suffer injuries while taking care of their grass each summer. When doing any grass cutting or trimming, wear goggles, long pants and closed-toe shoes, clear the yard of debris that could possibly get caught in the blades, never try to touch, repair or clean mower blades while the equipment is still plugged in or turned on and do not permit younger children to operate push mowers or ride on lawn mowers. And when not in use, keep your lawn mower stored out of the way of curious children and pets.
Most accidental drownings of children occur in residential swimming pools, it is really important to ensure your children and guests are not at risk while frolicking in the pool. To keep your pool area safe, install a fence to prevent anyone from falling in accidentally. Check your local bylaws for exactly what type of fencing is required in your region. Supervise your children at all times when they are in a pool. Also be very careful when swimming in local rivers, ponds or lakes this summer. Wear life jackets and know the weather forecast before you go swimming; a sudden change in weather can put you at risk.