Every season has its upsides, as well as predictable periods of challenge and risk. Summer has more than its share of each. On the plus side, there’s fun vacations and beautiful weather. On the other hand, there are vacation travel hazards and dangerous weather!
Please stay safe. Here are a few summer risks to watch out for and ways to minimize those hazards.
Five Tips for Staying Safe in the Summer:
- Weather – Summer is the prime season for tornados, hurricanes, and violent storms with hail. Lightning can spark wildfires. Smoke can damage human health and exacerbate pre-existing conditions. Double-check your shingles and siding to make sure there are no loose edges that can catch storm wind and cause even more damage. Secure your outdoor furniture if storms are forecast. If you live in an open area susceptible to wildfires, remove dead trees, woodpiles, and brush to form at least a 150-foot perimeter around your home. And in times of periods of smoke and poor air quality, stay indoors or at least mask up if you need to be outside for an extended time.
- Teen Drivers – Summer is also the time for new driver training. If you’re a parent or guardian of a driver to be, learn about your local laws that describe how and when you can accompany the learning driver on the road. Check with your auto insurance agent regarding any restrictions or coverage issues you need to be aware of. Then hit the road! Start slow … literally. Backing out of the driveway or a parking spot is a good first step to master before you take the teen to drive in a residential area. Now is the time to instill good driving habits, including putting phones away, following speed limits, and maintaining proper distance. Be sure to put a student driver placard on your car. And when you see those placards on another car, give it a wide berth and provide the driver plenty of patience and understanding!
- Backyard pools – Having a built-in or an above-ground pool is a terrific way to encourage family members to stay close to home – at least during the sunny hours of a summer day. Pools come with their own set of risks though – especially related to health and safety. Be sure to monitor the balance between pH levels and sanitation chemicals (like chlorine) to maintain a safe but non-skin irritating experience. Also, since pools can be inviting to the uninvited, be sure to maintain secure, high fencing with the proper self-closing and self-latching gates required by most local codes.
- Car trips – Summer is the season for pothole repair in the cities and road construction on the interstates. It all adds up to more cars, less room, and the need for more patience. If you’re heading out on a long road trip, be sure to make a maintenance appointment for your vehicle to get it checked out and serviced before you go. Don’t be too aggressive with your daily long-distance driving distance goals. Congestion and construction will mean you’ll probably just log 500-600 miles in a comfortable day. If you plan for more, the frustration can lead to bad, impulsive driving decisions. Interstate hotels are booking to capacity these days, so be sure to make reservations ahead of time, instead of “seeing how far we can get before we stop.”
- Home burglaries – According to the Department of Justice, most burglaries happen in the summer – from June to August. With summer being the prime time for vacations, that’s not surprising. When you head out on a well-earned vacation, think about how you can make your property look like you’re still at home. Ask a neighbor to watch the house – not only for suspicious activity but to retrieve packages, pick up any flyers on the door and newspaper supplements on the driveway. Hire a young neighbor to cut your grass while you’re out. Even ask a fried to come by and put the trash cans out on the normal days. Be sure to have auto timers to turn on your indoor and outdoor lights in the evening.
Enjoy the laze, craze days of summer – and be careful out there!
Please contact us if you’d like to talk with one of our experts about minimizing your personal risks in the summer … or any season!