Outdoor safety tips from Chesterfield Fire Department

Posted by babadmin


Spring’s warm weather is great for yard work, swimming, and many other outdoor activities.

Is your backyard playground safe?  Take an hour when the kids are gone and check to ensure that your backyard is safe for your children and their friends. Look for the following:

  1. Make sure there is at least 9 inches of shock-absorbing surface material, such as mulch, wood chips or shredded rubber, protecting a nine-foot perimeter of playground equipment.
  2. Never attach, or let children attach, ropes to the equipment, including jump ropes, clotheslines or pet leashes.
  3. Check hardware to ensure there are no open “S” hooks, protruding bolts or sharp points.
  4. Always supervise children when they are playing on the equipment (courtesy of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission).

As the weather gets warmer, check dryer vent discharges, yard and front porch lights and flood lights, to make sure that these areas have not become nesting spots. If so, remove the nests, since they are areas where fires can easily occur.

Be safe when working outdoors.

    1. Always call Miss Utility of Virginia at 811 before digging on your property.
    2. Allow the proper time frame, typically three day, for lines to be marked before beginning excavation work.
    3. Be cautious when using ladders and make sure there is ample distance from overhead power lines.
    4. Always have another adult secure the foot of the ladder.
    5. Never tie a personal safety line on to any object that can be moved.
    6. Always wear gloves, safety glasses and ear protection when working with power tools.

It is never too early to begin planning for safe summer fun. Please consider the following tips to be prepared around the water.

      1. Have children and adults take swimming lessons if they cannot swim.
      2. Be sure that your boat has the required number of Coast Guard Approved Personal Flotation Devices and that they are the proper fit for everyone on board, including small children.
      3. Plan all your trips on waterways before leaving and leave the plan with a friend or relative.
      4. Check with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to see if there are any requirements to operate watercraft, including power and sail boats, and Jet Skis.

When at the beach this summer, remember that it is easy to lose sight of little ones, even if you try to keep them close. Keep the following tips in mind:

      1. Swim near a lifeguard stand.
      2. If you don’t understand rip currents, don’t hesitate to ask a lifeguard to explain the hazards.
      3. If the water is rough, don’t go in over your waist.
      4. Designate “kid watchers” so that everyone knows who is responsible for keeping an eye on the kids.
      5. Apply sunscreen throughout the day to help protect against severe sunburn.
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