Summer is finally here! Time for cookouts, bonfires, outdoor activities, and time by the water. However, all this time outside can lead to potential dangers if you’re not properly prepared. In addition to slathering on the SPF to protect everyone from the sun’s rays, there are repairs and installations you can make throughout your home to give your family the fun and safe summer they deserve.
We’ve put together all the tips you need to keep your family and home secure throughout the summer. We also spoke with parenting and safety experts to help you set ground rules with your kids for the summer months. With proper preparation and a safety plan in place, you’ll be set for the best summer ever.
Preparation: Summer home maintenance tips
To prevent accidents and costly repairs, prepping your home for the summer months is a must every spring. From high temperatures and unexpected storms to the general wear and tear on the inside of your home, there are a lot of things to get ready for. First, it’s important to take inventory of what maintenance is overdue in your home.
From repairing broken appliances to cleaning out your AC ducts, there are lots of summer home maintenance projects that can save you money and keep everything running smoothly. In fact, the Department of Energy recommends performing an energy audit on your home once a year to determine where your home could use some upgrades to lower your carbon footprint and utility bill.
To keep the outside of your home looking great and keeping you safe, make sure to add these items to your to-do list.
- Install sun shades to your windows to deflect heat.
- Reseal any cracking caulk or weatherstrips on external windows and doors to prevent any leaks.
- Inspect the outside of your home for cracks and any overhanging tree limbs that could fall during a storm.
- Protect yourself in the event of a flood from a summer storm by double-checking that you have flood insurance added to your home insurance policy.
- Spray your yard and home to protect it from insects, pests, and other creatures, setting traps or deterrents when needed.
- Schedule a yearly inspection each summer to help catch termites and stop them in their tracks before they cause major damage to your home’s structure.
Keeping bugs at bay can often entail chemicals or pesticides, so safe use should be top-of-mind. Dr. Samantha Radford, the owner of Evidenced-Based Mommy, shared with us the importance of safety when these chemicals are in use: “If you choose to use pesticides in your home garden, make sure kids know to stay away after application and as least as long as manufacturers say it takes for the chemical to dissipate.” Taking a little time to explain the dangers of these items to your child can help prevent injury from early exposure or in case they’re accidentally left out.
If you have young children, you’ll also need to do a sweep of the inside and outside of your home for potential hazards (such as exposed electrical wires, cleaning supplies, etc). Radford says, “with kids going outside more during the summer, it’s important to think about toxic chemicals in the home and garage. Make sure all dangerous chemicals (pesticides, rat poison, fertilizers, cleaners, etc) are in a locked cabinet or a shelf well out of children’s reach.” Though that’s not to say kids can’t get involved in the cleaning process, just turn it into a fun game and keep an eye on them when their nearby toxic chemicals!
Adding a first-aid kit, fire extinguisher, and poison control information on every level of your home is good thinking as well — they’ll help you respond quickly in the event of an emergency