Home Maintenance for the Summer
Keeping up with seasonal repairs and upkeep not only shows pride of ownership, but can reduce the risk of costly and preventable home expenses. Prepare your home for the summer with the following considerations:
- Check all window and door locks to make sure they are secure. Open and close them, and apply lubricant when they are hard to open.
- Inspect your roof and gutters, clean out gutter debris and check shingle integrity.
- Inspect your home’s foundation, sealing cracks and levelling yard depressions with compacted soil.
- Check wooden structures, such as decks and steps, for rotting, loose wood or exposed nails.
- Hire a qualified heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractor to tune up your air conditioning unit.
- Examine electrical outlets and cords for potential fire hazards, such as frayed wires.
- Examine your garage door to ensure that it is in proper working order.
- Declutter by reviewing the contents of your garage. Donate or dispose of items you no longer use or need.
Driveways and walkways
- Inspect your pavement for cracks and holes, and remedy them. This can go a long way in preventing accidental slips, trips and falls.
Painting Safety Precautions
Summer is the perfect time to brush up on painting projects in your home. While paint can beautify a room, it can also be harmful to your health.
Stay safe while painting this summer with the following tips:
- Test for lead with a lead-testing kit—especially if your home was built before 1978.
- Wear a respirator, and open windows and doors to ventilate the room.
- Wear protective gloves and clothing.
- Cover all exposed outlets with painter’s tape.
- Inspect your ladder’s integrity before use, if applicable. Make sure to always have at least three body parts in contact with the ladder at all times.
- Store paint by replacing the lid firmly and storing the can upside down to block air entry.
As warmer weather approaches, more people will be using all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) for recreation. While riding an ATV is a fun activity, these vehicles can be extremely dangerous. In fact, every year, there are over 300 ATV-related deaths across the United States.
Here’s how to keep yourself and your family safe while operating an ATV:
- Read the operator’s manual and attend ATV instruction classes before riding.
- Wear gloves to reduce vibration pressure and to improve grip.
- Wear boots to maintain balance and control, protect feet and legs from debris, and maintain sound footing.
- Wear a long-sleeve shirt and pants to avoid burns and scratches.
- Always be aware of your surroundings. Watch out for wildlife, pedestrians, other ATVs and hazards like rocks, branches and unstable surfaces.
- Drive at safe speeds, taking weather conditions and the terrain into account.
- Never carry additional passengers, or operate an ATV while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Always ride the right size ATV by following the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Reducing Choking Hazards for Small Children
Choking occurs when the brain goes without oxygen for more than four minutes, causing brain damage and death, and is the leading cause of death in infants and toddlers.
If you are the parent or guardian of a small child, it is your responsibility to protect your child from danger. Foods such as hot dogs, whole grapes, nuts, raisins, hard candies and popcorn can be potential choking hazards. Other choking hazards include household items such as latex balloons, coins, small toy parts and marbles.
Protect your child from choking with the following tips:
- Mash foods so they can be chewed more easily.
- Instruct children to chew food before swallowing it.
- Make sure children sit upright while eating.
- Always supervise your child during mealtime.
- Do not give hard foods to children under the age of 4.
- Avoid giving children toys with small parts, and keep small household items out of reach.
Make sure to also learn the Heimlich maneuver for infants, as the procedures for a choking infant are different from those of an adult. Learn the steps here.