The idea of having a deck for entertaining, grilling food, and spending time outside is appealing to many homeowners. If you’re building a deck or already have outdoor living spaces, follow this advice about keeping your deck safe.
Easy Steps for Keeping Your Deck Safe
To make your deck safer for pets, offer a shady place where they can relax on a hot summer day. A retractable umbrella or even a large potted plant can serve this purpose. Even if your pet seems content in the heat, their paws may burn on the hot surface of the deck. Test the temperature by placing your hand on a surface where your pets walk. If you can’t hold it there for five seconds, it’s too hot for paws and little feet.
Check the Railings
You can prevent situations where children or pets get stuck between railings by making sure spindles are three inches apart or closer. Existing railings can be made safer with railing protectors, plastic mesh, or acrylic panels. Install these to stop little ones from crawling between the spindles. Check that the railings are secured as children may place their full weight against the wood.
To keep the deck safe, prevent pets and children from accessing the steps. A temporary baby-gate is one option, but you can also install a permanent gate with a latch if you frequently entertain on the deck. Steps aren’t the only falling hazard. When arranging your outdoor furniture, keep it away from railings. Children may climb on the furniture and can tumble over.
Examine the Deck on Their Level
It is helpful to get down to your child’s level and look for potential hazards. Look for rough spots on the deck and sand them smooth. You might notice nails or decking screws that are working their way out of the timbers. Drive the fasteners back into the deck.
Keeping Your Deck Safe Involves Maintenance
Splintering, warping, and cracking can be prevented by frequently refinishing your wood deck. By keeping up with regular maintenance, you can slow rotting wood and catch loose fasteners before they become hazards. When repairing an existing deck or building a new one, choose materials that won’t splinter or rot to prevent this issue altogether.
Secure the Grill
If your deck is also home to your grill, it’s important to keep the grill out of the way of high-traffic areas. Remove grilling tools so they are out of children’s reach and clean any drippings that pets might ingest. Cover the grill when not in use and teach children to stay away from it.
Lock Doors to Keep Your Deck Safe
Perhaps the most important thing that you can do to keep your pets and kids safe is to close and lock the doors that lead to the deck. This will prevent children and animals from accessing the area without supervision.
Keeping your deck safe is about following common-sense advice and performing periodic maintenance. When you make it a habit, it becomes second nature, so you can spend your time enjoying your deck without worry.