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Summer’s here! The sun is shining, and families are finally ready to get out of the house and spend some time outdoors. The backyard can be a perfect place to soak up the sun and enjoy a private escape in nature; parents also often think of backyards as a safe place for kids to play without the risk of nearby traffic or strangers. But many homeowners overlook the dangers that can be in their backyard, and forget to make sure that their insurance policy covers anything that might happen while they’re there. Check out the list below to find out more about three favorite backyard features, the risks associated with them, and what to do to make sure they are safe for your family.

 1.          Swimming Pools

Swimming pools are a favorite backyard feature for families, but they can also be one of the most hazardous.  Swimming pools have been known to cause drowning deaths, and the wet and slippery conditions also create the risk of falls and injuries in the pool area. Homeowners are typically held liable for any injuries or deaths that occur in their pool area – even if the swimmer is swimming without permission. So, to make sure you are covered in case of an accident at your pool, purchase a comprehensive Fredericksburg home insurance policy. It might also make sense to look into the benefits of extra liability insurance.

To ensure that these policies will never be needed, however, there are several safety precautions you can take with regard to your pool. First, ensure that your pool is not accessible when you aren’t present; make sure the area is fenced and gated from the outside, and that there is a door to the pool from your house so children can’t swim when you’re not present. When people are swimming in your pool, make sure that a capable and sober adult is always present to monitor everyone’s safety. Finally, don’t store anything enticing near the pool area – like inflatable toys or sports equipment. You don’t want to encourage children to enter the pool area unnecessarily. If you follow these safety precautions and insure yourself properly, having a pool at your home can be a wonderful added summer bonus with little associated risk.

2.          Trampolines

 As a kid, trampolines can be one of the most fun parts of having a backyard, but they can also be a safety nightmare. One of the biggest risks of having a trampoline is the injuries caused when more than one child jumps at a time. There is also the potential for a single jumper to fall off the trampoline, or for a jumper to injure himself while jumping. There are many insurance companies that won’t even cover trampolines, so if you have one in your backyard, make sure you search for a company that will. Homeowners with trampolines in their backyard are should have a homeowner’s insurance policy as well as extra liability insurance.

To protect yourself, friends, and family who use the trampoline, there are several safety precautions you can take. First, make sure your backyard is fenced, gated, and locked so no one can get and use your trampoline without your permission.  Second, never allow more than one person on a trampoline at once; rather ,teach your children to take turns jumping one at a time. Finally, always have a capable and sober adult monitoring trampoline jumpers. Trampolines can still fun, but homeowners must encourage proper use.

 3.          Grills

Grills are undoubtedly one of the most popular backyard features; homeowners love to cook out in the warm weather and host backyard picnics and parties. However, grills can present a risk to users. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, grill fires cause an estimate $37 million in property loss and damage each year, and the National Fire Protection Association reports that an average 8,500 burns due to grill use are reported each year – in addition to 10 grill-related deaths.  To ensure that you are covered in case of an accident with your grill, make sure you have adequate liability insurance. Damage to the grill and other property around it is also generally covered by a standard homeowners' insurance policy, so make sure that you purchase one before you use your grill.

 There are many precautions you can take to make sure that everyone and everything is safe around your grill. First, make sure that your grill is at least 20 feet from any building or structure, and only place your grill on a flat surface where it can’t roll, slide, or tip over. To cool your grill down after you’re done cooking, put the top on your grill tightly with the vents closed. If your grill accidentally catches fire, make sure you can put the lid on tight and shut off the gas, clear everyone away from the grill, and immediately call 911. Follow these tips and the only thing you’ll have to worry about with your grill is how soon the hot dogs will be done!

We can help you answer any questions you might have regarding backyard safety and insurance, so give Tabitha Walker Insurance Agency a call at 540-657-5633.

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Mailing: 11 Hope Rd., Suite 111-306 Stafford, VA 22554 Location:  25 Clement Drive Stafford, VA 22554

      Phone: 540.657.5633 / Fax: 540.657.5636

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