“Summertime and the livin' is easy…”
We cannot agree more with what Jenny Han said, "Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August."
Oh Summer...What’s not to love about Summer? Heading to the beach for sun, sea, and sand, planning summer pool-party with the children, camping out in the mountains, candle-lit barbecues... or simply looking forward to longer days and shorter nights, it’s no wonder that we associate the summer months with feeling happy and carefree!
National Safety Month
Summertime: laid back, easy living…not a care in the world! Yes, folks, we are already mostly through ‘Flaming June’, the official start of summer! Summer vacation ideas are buzzing through your mind, schools out, and there doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city, in your life, in your home – with the exception of that scary, mile-long list of home improvement projects, mocking you from the refrigerator door.
But June is also National Safety Month, so grab a chair and a cold drink while checking out a few of our suggestions for improving outdoor safety. Let's make your home a little safer - and hopefully more efficient - over the coming weeks.
“Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June.”
Organize the Storage Shed and Garage
Before you begin your outdoor projects, clean out the shed and garage; make sure your favorite tools are stored safely and within easy reach. If there are any tools that you no longer use, throw them out or donate them. Make sure to dispose of old power tools safely, as they can be a safety hazard to kids.
Add a lock to the shed or garage and always put tools such as pruning shears, chainsaws, hosepipe and lawnmower away immediately after use. These items can be extremely dangerous for children and pets.
Double-check that all dangerous chemicals such as weedkillers, fertilizer, plant chemicals, antifreeze, paint, solvents, and bug killer are stored correctly, for example, at the optimal temperatures as indicated on the product label and labeled clearly. Never use old beverage containers such as soda bottles to store dangerous chemicals.
If any chemicals have passed the expiry date, dispose of them safely.
Inspect, Repair or Replace Outdoor Play Equipment
Do you have playground equipment or a jungle gym in your backyard? Playground safety is paramount! Run a critical eye over the equipment, before your kids and their friends get to it. Rust, loose bolts, flaking paint, splinters, and rotten wood can easily lead to injuries, and even to visits to the ER. Playground mats under your swing sets can provide shock absorption, and they are easy to install.
Swimming Safety for Kids - Pool and Spa Safety Tips
Ensure your pool days are safe rather than scary with these smart safety measures.
Use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) for electrical devices used outside to help prevent electrocutions and electric shock injuries. Ensure all electrical equipment used for swimming pools and spas is grounded – including the cleaning equipment.
Whenever possible, use only battery-operated electrical devices outside. If electrical devices are essential, keep them at least 10 feet from the pool.
Do not ever handle electrical devices when you are wet.
Do not install your swimming pool below power lines.
Do not swim during a thunderstorm.
To avoid electric shock drowning, arrange for an electrician from fixlers.com to inspect and upgrade your pool, spa, or hot tub in accordance with applicable local codes and the National Electrical Code® (NEC). Click here to book a professional.
Pool Safety Fence
Add a secure barrier to keep little ones (and pets) from sneaking in. Whether your pool is in the ground or above-ground, there are many affordable fencing options:
Pool alarm for kids
This is an underwater motion sensor , which provides an extra layer of protection when it comes to pool safety. It needs to be fixed securely to the deck or top rail of the pool, and with a quick call to fixlers.com we can send you a competent handywork professional who will be able to ensure this is installed correctly. Download the Fixlers app and book a service today!
For enhanced pool security, consider adding a gate with a sensor that sends an automatic alert whenever the gate opens or closes, so you will always be aware when somebody is accessing the pool.
Eliminate hiding places
Piles of cut branches and untidy hedges can be a risk-filled magnet for adventurous children (and a hidey-hole for potential burglars)! Don’t give anyone a place to hide in your yard, but do consider planting thorny bushes near to ground-floor windows to deter intruders.
Ensure you have a safe escape route planned, and do not placed any statues, plant pots or bulky decorations under those windows that need to be accessible in the event of a fire. Keep trees and shrubs pruned back well and collect up clippings as you go.
Effective outdoor lighting is crucial to ensure safety as dusk approaches. Trailing wires, however, can be dangerous (and unsightly). Consider installing outdoor string lights or solar lights as an alternative to wired lights. Alternatively, you can consult with an electrician from fixlers.com who can assist you in planning comprehensive wired garden lights, to include landscape lighting, outdoor patio lights, fence lights or floodlights.
"Marty saved our Day! Due to Covid restrictions, our daughter asked to hold her engagement party in our yard. Problem was that the lighting wasn’t so good. We put in a call to fixlers.com based on the recommendation of a work colleague. Marty was with us within 2 hours and did a fantastic job of installing lighting on our deck. Marty is the BEST!!"
Sue & Bob Joyner Silver Springs, Maryland
Update Your First Aid Kit
Camping, hiking, biking, backyard sports, and swimming over the summer are popular family activities, but it is always wise to be prepared for unexpected accidents. Now is the time to dispose of old medications safely, and restock your first-aid supplies so you can deal with minor cuts, burns, scrapes, sprains, and strains. Your first-aid box should contain band-aids, adhesive bandages, gauze, disinfectant, just to name a few.
A portable first aid kit is handy to take with you too whether you are out and about enjoying summer picnics in the park, or headed out on long bike rides.
Other useful additions to your first aid box are
• Hydrogen peroxide
• Antibiotic pain relief ointment
• Bug bite cream
Rain, Rain, Go Away
Not all summer days are long, hot, and balmy. The occasional rain shower will send you scurrying back inside the house, but there are plenty of small home improvements you can tackle while waiting for the sun to reappear from behind the clouds!
Check and repair ripped window screens
Summer is, of course, a fun time for all the creepy crawly and winged creatures who seem determined to find their way into your home. Even a small tear could be a ‘welcome mat’ for all the bugs in your neighborhood to come on in! A repair tape may be all you need for small rips and holes.
However, if the damage is severe, the screen may need to be replaced completely. If you aren’t able to do this yourself, a technician from fixlers.com will be able to help. Contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-683-8483 .
Vacuum the refrigerator coils
Dust-clogged refrigerator coils not only reduce the efficiency of the appliance but can lead to increased energy costs. Wouldn’t you rather spend those $$ on ice cream? Pull your fridge out from the wall and use one of your vacuum cleaner brush heads to give it a good clean.
For some household jobs which require reaching up high, you are going to need to use a step ladder. Make sure the step ladder you purchase is secure & stable and that its construction is rated to hold up to 330 lbs. Look for non-slip textured rubber treads so you feel safe and comfortable, and that it has a large handgrip on the top of the ladder to provide you with extra support. Finally, make sure it has slip-resistant feet that can completely touch the ground.
Clean Ceiling Fan Blades
Before switching on ceiling fans for the summer, take a little time to clean dust and debris from the fan blades. This will help them to run more effectively.
Clean out AC units - and remind family members to use them efficiently
As the mercury rises, so can your electricity bills. Keeping the windows closed while the AC is on, using curtains to block out sunlight, and using ceiling fans to circulate air, will all help to keep your home cool, and your energy bills low. Call out a professional to clean out your AC unit by contacting us.
Replace Spent Light Bulbs
When lighting is poor, and you can’t see hazards clearly, trips and falls are common. Your summer will certainly suffer if this results in cuts and bruises - or worse, a broken limb – for you or a member of the family. Always keep a selection of bulbs to hand and replace as necessary.
Before you head off on your summer vacation, check the locks and deadbolts on each door and window. Tighten or replace any loose locks and pay special attention to any access points at ground level.
You can also fit locks to your windows. You may also want to consider investing in locks specifically for your sliding patio doors.
Another deterrent to keep your home safe while you are away on summer vacation is a motion sensor light. If you need help with installation, contact us at fixlers.com and we will send out a professional to help!
That's all from me! Wishing you a fun-filled safe vacation. And remember, “Some of the best memories are made in flip-flops.” (Kellie Elmore)
Download the Fixlers app, create your account, and complete your profile to order your first service today! Visit our home page at www.fixlers.com for more info, or go to our FAQ page here.