As warmer weather returns to the Hoosier state the Indiana Department of Homeland Security wants to remind residents to take precautions to make sure outdoor activities remain safe. Officials report swimming pools, grills, gardening tools and fertilizer pose risks to both adults and children and parents should regularly check sidewalks, patios and playground equipment to reduce the risk of falls or injury.
Swimming pools are often a favorite activity, but can become deadly when not used properly. Children should always have adult supervision around any body of water. Nationally, drowning is a leading cause of death to children under five years old. Other pool safety tips include:
- Contact local building officials to determine what permits are needed for building a new pool.
- Have a fence at least four feet high surrounding any type of pool. All gates should be self-closing and self-latching.
- Remove all chairs, tables, large toys, and other objects that would allow children to reach the gate latch or to climb over the fence.
- Reserve a spot on a wall or table for life saving devices including a mobile phone.
- Steps and ladders for pools should be secured or removed when the pool is not in use.
- Make sure drain covers are properly fitted and paired, or have vacuum suction releases to prevent being trapped under water.
- Install a pool cover to completely block access to water in the pool.
- Spa temperature water should be set to 104 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to avoid elevated body temperature, which could lead to drowsiness, unconsciousness, heat stroke or death.
- Designate the grilling area as a “No Play Zone” and keep kids and pets well away until the grill is cool.
- Check propane cylinder hoses for leaks before use.
- Do not move hot grills.
- Never add starter fluid when coals have already been ignited. Never use any combustible liquid other than charcoal starter fluid to get the fire going.
For more safety information, visit www.getprepared.in.gov.