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It’s the perfect time of year to enjoy the outdoors and spend time with your family in the yard. As homeowners, it is our responsibility to understand how to minimize the risk of injury and keep our families and guests safe. We often talk about safety with pools, bicycles, and the grill, but here are three commonly overlooked pieces of equipment that can pose a safety risk in your back yard.

The Playset

All swing sets and backyard playground equipment should be carefully maintained and regularly inspected for rust, protruding pieces, or loose parts. Placing playsets on level ground surrounded by woodchips or soft materials to cushion falls can help prevent injuries. Make sure children never attach ropes or leashes to the equipment, as it can cause a strangling danger. Additionally, make sure children remove their helmets or anything with a chinstrap before playing.

Adults should always supervise children as they play on the equipment and check to be sure the parts, such as the slide or swing seats, are not going to burn the child after sitting in the sun.

The Lawn Mower

If you think about it, a lawn mower is a pretty dangerous piece of equipment! It is important to only use a mower with a control that stops the mower blade from moving if the handle is released. Additionally, be sure the blade is completely still before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge tube, or crossing any terrain that is not grass, such as gravel paths or driveways.

To prevent injuries from flying objects, survey the lawn prior to mowing and pick up any potential projectiles, including visible rocks and toys. It’s also a good idea to have anyone using the mower wear eye and hearing protection. Never let children younger than 12 years old push a walk-behind mower, and never let children younger than 16 years old drive a ride-on mower. In fact, children and other family members, including pets, should remain indoors while the lawn is being mowed.

The Fire Pit or Chimenea

What is better than roasting marshmallows around the fire on a warm summer night? Whenever working with fire, whether it’s in a fire pit or a grill, it is important to make sure it remains under control. Always keep water or a fire extinguisher nearby, and make sure everyone knows where to find it. Only light fires in areas that are a safe distance from your home, deck, low hanging tree branches, and patio furniture, and be sure the fire is completely cool before going inside.

Adults should always supervise children by the fire, and fires should never be left unattended. Small children should be held in an adults lap, and the adult should always have their hands in contact with a standing child to keep him or her from falling and getting burned.

Is Your Home Fully Covered?

It is common to purchase an insurance policy, and then never think about it again. However, as your lifestyle changes, your insurance policy should, too. Let your BenefitSource insurance professional help you inspect your policies this summer. We specialize in evaluating your individual needs and any changes that may have happened over the past year to ensure you have the right amount of coverage at the best price. Call us directly at (877) 215-5431 or email us to set up your evaluation.

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