Backyard Safety: Pools, Grills & Yards
Hurricane Preparedness Before the Storm Hits
You should have a game plan before a hurricane or major weather event is even a threat. Besides a hurricane safety kit, meet with family or household members to create an evacuation plan. Follow these tips to get your house and yard ready before disaster strikes.
Holiday Drownings: Don't Repeat History
The U.S. CPSC reports that child drowning incidents increase over summer holidays like the 4th of July. Previous years' sobering statistics reveal a rise in drownings that could be prevented if more people practiced the water safety program known as 'Pool Safely.'
Who is Most at Risk of Drowning in a Pool or Spa?
The summer swimming season and third year of the Pool Safely: Simple Steps Save Lives campaign kicked off before Memorial Day weekend this year with a focus on the populations most at risk of drowning. Learn who is most at risk and what you can do to prevent fatalities.
How to Survive a Hurricane
Engineer Juan Rodriguez of Puerto Rico shares tips on how to survive a major weather event like a hurricane or tropical storm. Married and the father of three daughters, Rodriguez experiences each storm with a personal and professional perspective: concerned for his family's comfort and safety, and knowing what types of buildings and...
CPSC Issues Massive Recall of Pool and Spa Drain Covers
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and eight manufacturers of pool and spa drain covers issued a massive recall of the consumer products due to incorrect ratings. Consumers are advised to stop using the recalled drain covers, which include products made by AquaStar, Hayward, Pentair and Waterway Plastics. The potential hazard:...
The Poinsettia: Fun Facts, Tips and Myths
Despite the rumors of toxicity and safety, poinsettias are still the Christmas season's favorite plant. Maybe it's the different varieties in which it comes, it's rich history and tradition or the mystery and folklore that surrounds the Mexican native. Let's find out more about this exotic beauty.
Drowning Prevention Tips & Facts for Swimming Pools & Spas
Drowning may be one of the most remorseful fatal accidents to occur at a home. Why? Because it's entirely preventable. Learn what you can do to make your pool or spa safer, along with other risks.
Storm Watch: Preparing Your Home and Yard Before Disaster Strikes
Storms, tornadoes and hurricanes are inevitable in some parts of the world. If you live in a storm or hurricane-prone region, take a proactive approach to surviving a disaster by getting your house, yard and swimming pool ready before the storm hits. Follow these important suggestions and steps from experts like the American Red Cross.
Hanging Outdoor Christmas Lights: Avoiding Disaster
You don't need to be a certified electrician or hire one to light up your home and yard for the holidays. Simply follow the rules, educate yourself on lighting and electrical basics, and don't try to "mickey-mouse" any fixtures. May your holidays be merry and bright!
Protecting Your Shelter from the Storm: Secure Your Pool, Spa & Yard
If a storm or hurricane is approaching, the last thing you want to worry about is what to do about your swimming pool or spa. Post this checklist on your refrigerator so you'll know what to do to secure your pool or spa in the anxious hours before a storm hits or prior to evacuation.
Saving Energy Outside the House: Pools, Patios & in the Yard
Step outside and look at what can be done to save energy and money. It might not be quite as obvious as inside your house, but you can start by replacing that front porch bulb. From there, we take you on an energy-saving tour of your backyard.
How Do I Know if My Drain Cover is Affected By the Recall?
How do you know if your pool or in-ground spa / hot tub drain cover is part of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recall? The CPSC, in cooperation with the manufacturers of the pool and spa drain covers, have compiled a list with photos of the recalled pool products. I
Do You Live in a Wildfire Area?
Southern California isn't the only place that is prone to wildfires. How do you know if your house is in a wildfire region? Read over this checklist to help you determine if your house is in danger of a destructive fire, and measures you can take outside your property to help keep it fire safe.
CPSC Recalls Napa Gel Fuel
Gel fuel used in those ceramic or stoneware gel fire pots that are popular on patio and deck table tops are being recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Napa Home & Garden gel fuel products can potentially ignite unexpectedly and splatter onto people and nearby objects when the gel is poured into a firepot that is...
How to Protect Your Property From Wildfire
The threat of wildfires is a reality for people who live in areas susceptible to drought and high winds. Firewise™ is a nonprofit organization devoted to helping you and your survive a wildfire. Post this checklist on your refrigerator, follow Firewise's suggestions and you and your property will be safter and less susceptible to damage from a fire.
Behind the Story: Uncovering Unsafe Drain Covers
From The Chicago Tribune: "As the tipster talked, I remembered the tragic story of Virginia Graeme Baker, a 7-year-old child who drowned after the relentless suction force of a drain pinned her to the bottom of a hot tub at a family friend’s graduation party. Her mother tried desperately to free her but couldn’t."
A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFIC) Can Save Your Life
We’ve all heard the terms GFCI or GFI outlets, but what in the world are they used for? Why would we buy outlets that cost between $5.00 and $10.00 when regular outlets only cost a dollar or two? Seems silly, right? Not so fast. GFCI’s are specifically designed to save your life. They automatically turn themselves off when there is a short circuit or there’s an unbalanced load to ground.
'Pool Safely': Layers of Protection
While swimming pools provide hours of exercise and enjoyment, accidental drownings in pools and hot tubs are the leading cause of death for children under age 5 and the second-leading cause of death for children 15 and under. Follow these layers of protection to make your backyard pool or spa a safe and fun place.
How to Control Mosquitoes in Your Yard and Home
Nothing takes the fun out of an evening barbecue like a bunch of bloodthirsty mosquitoes. In addition to inflicting pain, mosquitoes can transmit diseases. You can keep your local mosquito population under control by limiting their habitat on your property, and avoid their annoying bites by using the right barriers and repellents. From Debbie Hadley, About.com: Insects.
Are You Water Aware? Water Safety Month
What used to be Pool Safety Week has now become National Water Safety Month. Starting in May 2009, the public awareness campaign spearheaded by The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, the World Waterpark Association and the National Recreation & Park Association is dedicating the month to educating the public about safe aquatic...
Code Requirements for Swimming Pools and Spas
Swimming pools, spas and hot tubs all require some sort of electrical connection to keep them working properly. Electric pumps, filters, heaters and lighting all play a part in their day-to-day operation and maintenance. These electrical connections have to be done according to the electrical code in your area. In most cases, a licensed electrician will have to do the installation for you.
Consumer Reports on Safety: Low-Cost Pools Can Pose Hazard to Kids
Consumer Reports warns: Don’t buy an inflatable pool unless you plan to empty it right after each use. Inflatable pools can hold thousands of gallons of water and often lack the layers of protection—gates, fences, removable ladders—required for pool safety. In addition, the soft sides make it easy for a child to fall in.
CPSC's Safety Barrier Guidelines for Residential Pools & Hot Tubs
Confused about safety barriers for your backyard swimming pool or spa? This 10-page booklet from the Consumer Product Safety Commission describes and illustrates in detail the guidelines you should follow to make your swimming pool and spa area a safe place for recreation.
Diving Rules for Private Pools
Diving in residential pools is not a smart idea, and many areas have banned the use or sale of diving boards for private pools. The reasons: backyard pools are smaller and not as deep, so they don't give the diver enough room in front and on the sides to land safely in the water without hitting the board, pool edge or bottom. Learn the diving rules for private pools.
Don't Check That Blackberry While Children are in the Pool
Here's a good message for all juggling parents: A few seconds of inattention is all it takes for a child to drown, even in a small inflatable pool. Sara Schaefer Munoz reports on parents and caregivers' increasing distractions by their PDAs and cellphones while watching their children in a swimming pool. As one father says, "One e-mail at the pool and you are not watching your kid."
Drownings on the Rise for Children Under Age 5
In this article from The Wall Street Journal, safety officials report an increase in the average number of drowning deaths in pools and spas among children under the age of 5, heightening concerns about inexpensive, inflatable pools that often don't have the added safety measures of fences or alarms.
How to Secure Your Swimming Pool Against a Storm
You may know how to protect your family from a storm, but what about your swimming pool? Follow these suggestions to help minimize the damage to your swimming pool that might be caused by a tropical storm or hurricane. By Woody McDowell for About.com: Swimming.
No Entrapment Deaths for 2009
May 24, 2010 During the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's release of its annual reports on incidents of children's submersion and entrapment, it was revealed that there were no entrapment deaths during 2009. The announcement was made during the kick-off campaign of Pool Safely , a first-of-its-kind national public education and...
Review: Safety Turtle Water & Pool Alarm for Babies, Toddlers
Besides sensible supervision around swimming pools, it always helps to have backup protection, especially if you have a baby. With the Safety Turtle pool alarm system, you simply strap the wristband on your child. If your baby enters the water, the alarm sounds immediately. How does this product rate? Find out in this review by Heather Corley, About.com's Guide to Baby Products.
Perilous Pool Parties: 7 Ways to Prevent Drownings
Current research shows that most drownings occur during residential swimming pool parties. This informative article from Aquatics International reveals why, and offers seven crucial ways to make backyard parties safer.
Smart Swimming for Children: Ages 6 Months to 5 Years
Some experts believe that the way to keep children safe around swimming pools is to teach them to swim when they're infants, as young as 6 months old. In this informative article from Parenting, find out children's swimming capabilities for certain age groups, along with teaching methods and facts and suggestions.
Three Safety Rules for the Diver
The sport of diving has an exemplary record when it comes to safety. Divers and coaches place a premium on safety. Each time a competitive diver steps onto a springboard during practice he or she should follow these three simple rules to ensure the safety of themselves and their teammates.
Storm Warning: Evacuate the Pool Before Lightning Strikes
Warning: Get out of your swimming pool or spa at the first signs of a storm. Lightning can strike from as far as 10 miles away. Even if the storm looks like it's a long way off, you need to evacuate the pool ASAP. Find out why in this article from The Arizona Republic.
Storm-Ready Pool Cage Design Project
Join host Bob Vila for this online how-to video on constructing a storm-ready cage for your swimming pool. The screened, aluminum cage is rated to withstand a wind load of 130 mph.
Safety at Home and in the Yard
Much emphasis is placed on home safety, but a significant part of maintaining a safe home takes place outside the house. That includes safety in around the pool, hot tub, pond or any body of water in the yard. Then there's the potential hazards associated with outdoor kitchens, grills and barbecues. And swing sets, play equipment, lighting,...
What You Should Know About Keeping Your Pool Safe for Children
Drownings are a leading cause of hospitalizations and death in children. But there are other not-so-obvious dangers that lurk in yards that have pools, spas or hot tubs. Here are some trouble spots and ways to prevent accidents and fatalities from occurring.
Facts, Myths and Advice: Earthquakes, Yards and Swimming Pools
Whether you live in earthquake-prone California or a region that rarely experiences any seismic activity, like the East Coast, nerves get rattled to your inner core and you may have a few questions post-quake. Like with your yard and swimming pool.