1. Supervision is a must: Good supervision means you are able to scan the pool area every 10 seconds and be able to reach the pool in 20 seconds.
2. Put multiple safety barriers between children and the pool: Install a four-foot fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate that has a locking mechanism beyond a child's reach. Also be sure to cut overhanging tree limbs and remove chairs or ladders from the pool area to prevent children from climbing over the fence surrounding the pool.
3. Always check the pool first if a child is missing: Child drowning is often a silent death that alerts no one with splashes or yells for help. Many drowning accidents happen when children have been missing for less than five minutes.
4. Empty small wading pools after children are done playing and remove all toys: Infants can drown in just a few inches of water. Pool toys may attract children to the pool when it is unattended.
5. Keep grills at least 10 feet from any structure: Grilling mishaps cause more than 8,300 fires and send 3,000 people to the emergency room each year. Never grill indoors or near garages or porches, even if it’s raining.
6. Have a spray bottle or fire extinguisher handy: An unexpected flare-up can burn more than your burgers. Use a spray bottle filled with water to avoid flare-ups and have a fire extinguisher nearby. Also, coals get hot – in some cases up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit – so dispose of charcoal away from kids and pets and cool it down with a hose.
7. Never use gasoline or kerosene to light a charcoal fire: Both can cause an explosion. When grilling, use insulated, flame retardant mitts and long handled barbeque tongs and utensils to handle food and coals.
8. Check gas grill hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks: If the tank valve or grill needs repair, do not attempt to do it yourself. Take it to your local home improvement store or qualified appliance repair person.
9. Inspect outdoor decorative lights carefully: Some families may be adding backyard ambience with outdoor decorative lighting. Do not connect more than three midget light string sets together. Light strings with screw-in bulbs should have a maximum of 50 bulbs connected together. Be sure to use light strings that bear the UL Mark -- the UL Mark on a product means that UL has tested samples of the product for risk of fire, electric shock and other hazards.
10. Carefully inspect backyard playground equipment: According to the CPSC, seventy percent of all playground-related deaths occur on home playground equipment. Make sure equipment is anchored safely in the ground, all equipment pieces are in good working order, S-hooks are entirely closed and bolts are not protruding.
These tips came from Underwriters Laboratories. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is an independent product safety certification organization that has been testing products and writing Standards for Safety for over a century. UL evaluates more than 19,000 types of products, components, materials and systems annually with 20 billion UL Marks appearing on 72,000 manufacturers' products each year. UL's worldwide family of companies and network of service providers includes 64 laboratory, testing and certification facilities serving customers in 98 countries. For more information, visit: http://www.ul.com/consumers.