Child proofing your yard doesn’t just make your yard safer for your children and their friends to play. Although you can’t prevent your children from getting hurt, child proofing your yard can actually prevent you from enduring the hardship of an expensive lawsuit as well. Could you imagine if one of your neighbor’s children got hurt on your property? You would feel absolutely horrible, and you cannot afford to make this costly mistake.
1. Making Water Safe
Firstly, you should have a gate around your swimming pool, hot tub or spa. The gate should be locked and not have any gaps or open areas that would allow for a small child or animal to get through. As a general rule, you should aim for a gate that’s at least five feet in height. The door should be a self-closing one. A motorized cover prevents people who make it over the gate from accidentally falling into your pool. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 3,533 fatal unintentional drownings occur each year, so make sure your pool or hot tub doesn’t contribute to this statistic. In fact, the World Health Organization declares drowning as the third leading cause of unintentional death worldwide.
2. Decks, Porches and Other Similar Structures
Make sure you reinforce any decks or porches that aren’t sturdy. If you notice a wobbly pole, then tend to it immediately. You should check to ensure that there aren’t any rotted or flimsy parts to your deck or porch. Check all nails and screws. You shouldn’t have nails or screws that are loose or sticking out. If you have to take out your deck, block off any exits that lead from your house to the deck to avoid having someone fall, especially if the distance from your door to the ground is high. Evaluate the boards; none of them should be wobbly. While you’re examining your deck, don’t forget about the railing. As a general rule, if the deck is two feet off the ground or more, you may want to install a railing system. During the installation process, make the gaps between rail no more than four inches apart.
3. Stumps and Trees
Something as simple as a stump can be a hazard and cause people to trip and fall. If you have tree removal done at your house, be sure you request for stump grinding. Opt for tree removal for hazardous trees. A lawsuit can result if part of a tree falls on someone on your property. The branches should be pruned regularly and shouldn’t hang over into your neighbor’s yard.
4. Outdoor Lighting
Outdoor lighting adds to the ambiance of your yard, and it also helps people who are walking up your driveway or steps to be able to see better. Install a motion light for your security and to assist people to maneuver through your lawn. Even small lights placed around your flower garden or leading up to your home on the sides of your walkway will help.
5. Dog Gates
If your pooch hurts someone, you’re responsible. The fence that keeps the dog in must be locked. In addition, make sure that it remains sturdy enough to keep Fido from escaping.
With or without your consent, you will be held accountable for injuries that result on a trampoline. Just like pools, trampolines are considered to be attractive nuisances, meaning they draw children in. Your trampoline should be well maintained. Any rusty springs, holes or tears should be taken care of. Netting around the trampoline can prevent your children as well as other peoples’ children from flipping off and breaking a leg or arm.