When we think of summer, we mostly think of the positive things–time with family, maybe a holiday together, long days at the beach. After all, that’s what summer memories are usually made of.
Unfortunately, many people each year end up with very unpleasant memories of their summer, and it’s due to some type of accident around the home. Typically we are very cautious when we travel, but the fact is that most accidents occur in and around the home. We spend most of our time there, so it makes sense that we’re most likely to have accidents there.
So what can we do to avoid the most common causes of summertime accidents around the home? Some things will vary from one family to another, but many will be true for everyone. Here are seven ways you can try to keep your summer memories happy.
01. Be Cautious of Swimming Pools
Swimming pools are very popular in areas with even a brief period of hot summer weather, and Australia is no different. They are also potential sources of great danger.
Swimming pools call for careful attention to safety. Remember to never let anyone swim alone. Even adults who are very good swimmers can fall victims to unrelated medical emergencies that could cause them to go under, so it’s critical that everyone is watched at all times. Be sure also to secure the pool against access for children, and consider getting a pool alarm as a second layer of protection.
02. Use Good Electrical Safety
Although we love to be outdoors in the summer, we often like to take our indoor creature comforts with us. Lots of us are installing outdoor televisions and even kitchen appliances. They certainly make it fun to be outdoors, but they also call for some common-sense safety steps.
For starters, don’t wire things yourself. Contact qualified electricians near you to do the work, and get it done safely and according to code. Then follow manufacturer recommendations for components you’ll install yourself.
03. Heed Warnings
There are lots of agencies out there watching out for you. In the summer, they frequently issue various warnings and advisories that are intended to keep you safe. Listen to them.
One example is the weather. The Bureau of Meteorology pays close attention to heat and humidity, and they’ll issue various advisories when conditions warrant. Be alert to those, and when you see one, pay attention to it. There is a great deal of risk associated with excess heat, so the warnings are always serious. Remember that thunderstorms are not the only dangerous weather!
04. Take Care of Yourself and Your Family
Of course, you can have dangerous heat without a specific warning from the BOM. Sunburn can happen in any season, and you can suffer heat stroke or heat exhaustion with prolonged exposure to hot weather, even if it doesn’t meet standards to be considered extreme.
Stay hydrated with sports drinks or just plain water. Take frequent breaks if you’re working or playing outdoors for prolonged periods. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothes. The new breathable fabrics are excellent for helping you keep cool. Pay close attention to younger and older family members to be sure they aren’t getting too hot.
05. Be Wise with Alcohol
Many outdoor summer events involve some cold beer or other alcoholic beverages. That’s fine until it puts people in danger. To begin with, alcohol accelerates dehydration, so drinking too much on a hot day can put you on a fast track to heat-related illness.
But of course, there are other problems with drinking too much. It impairs your judgment, causing you to do reckless or dangerous things that you wouldn’t do if you were sober. It slows reaction times, affects vision, and interferes with rational thought.
When your summer plans involve alcohol, be sure to know your limits and to stay within them. And put away the car keys.
06. Use Safety Equipment
Summer is a time for fun, and many of us have bicycles, dirt bikes, and other recreational vehicles that are lots of fun during the hot season. However, all kinds of accidents can result if we don’t utilize safety equipment.
Wear your seat belts, and use helmets on vehicles and, yes, bicycles. Be sure tires are properly inflated and that brakes and lights all work properly, and only ride vehicles in locations that are suitable for their use. Keep off-road vehicles off the road, and keep road vehicles on the road. And never let anyone operate a vehicle they aren’t qualified to use.
07. Grill Wisely
A time-honored tradition of summer is to throw some delicious meat on the barbie and have a cookout. It’s a great way to get unique flavor and to cut down on the heat and mess inside the house. However, outdoor cooking can be dangerous.
Keep kids away from hot grills. Be sure that gas-powered grills have been checked over for leaks prior to use, and never use them where they could discharge carbon monoxide into the house. After grilling, ashes from wood or charcoal should be left in the grill with the lid down to prevent burns and, in some areas, bush fires. Give them the night to burn up and cool off, then check them the next day and dump them if they have cooled.
Safety doesn’t have to be a wet blanket on your summer fun. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Getting in the habit of being safe around the house in the summer or at any time of year is the best way to keep from having an accident that would be a real wet blanket on the fun.
None of these tips is expensive, time-consuming, or even difficult. They’re just some common-sense reminders that we would all be wise to follow so that our summer memories will take place at home instead of at the hospital.
Robert Keith is a professional blogger and writer. He contributed this article on behalf of CLF Services. They are one of the reliable commercial and residential electricians in Brisbane area. They also provide 24/7 emergency electrical services for their client.