A deck is an excellent place to enjoy family time outside, and it’s a great area to entertain guests. However, the deck can also pose a hazard to pets and children. Here are some ways to make your deck safe.
Don’t Make it Easy to Access
Keep the door leading to the deck locked at all times. Curious children will go explore if they can easily open the door. An unattended child may wander away or be injured.
Inspect Your Railings to Make Your Deck Safe
Do your deck’s railings allow children or pets to fit through? One way to make it safer is by installing a canvas, mesh, or plastic covering over the railings. Make sure the spindles are close together if you’re building a new deck.
Use a Gate
Keep children and pets from leaving the enclosed deck area by installing a gate that isn’t easy to open. This is especially important if the deck has steps attached. Children and pets can fall down the stairs.
Make Your Deck Safe: Provide Shade
Pets can burn their paws by walking on a deck that is too hot. This is even more likely to happen if your deck is made from stone or composite materials. Test the heat of your deck by placing your hand on its surface. If you can’t keep your hand there for longer than five seconds, then it’s too hot for your pet. Use a large potted tree, umbrella, or awning to provide more shade.
Check Your Deck Plants
If you have plants on the deck, make sure they aren’t toxic. Azalea, for example, can cause a pet to become very sick if ingested. Research which plants are non-toxic and only keep those varieties on your deck.
Grill Properly to Make Your Deck Safe
You may enjoy your deck as a place to grill. However, grilling creates an environment where kids and pets can become injured. Keep hot food and tools away from children and pets. Tell kids to stay several feet away anytime the grill is in use.