You take precautions inside the home to keep your kids and pets safe, and these same efforts should extend to your outdoor living areas. A deck is a convenient place for pets and children to spend time outdoors, however, every year people and pets are injured on decks. May is National Deck Safety Month and a perfect time to implement these deck safety tips.

Why You Need Deck Safety Tips

Some backyard decks have damages related to poor construction or defective materials. Others are damaged by weather, pests, and general wear and tear. A damaged or defective deck can be hazardous, resulting in falls, splinters, cuts, and other injuries. While many of these injuries are minor, some can be serious. Here are some deck safety tips to better protect pets and kids.

Identify and Remove Hazardous Items

Begin your efforts to improve deck safety at home with the items that are stored on the deck. For example, some of your potted plants may be toxic to children and pets. You may have pesticides, fertilizers, or other chemicals on your deck that could be dangerous in the hands of children. A hot grill or grilling tools can cause injury if left unattended.

Deck Safety Tips for Lighting

Your deck is probably illuminated at night by a porch light, but this may not be sufficient lighting especially if you enjoy using the area in the evenings. When your deck area is poorly lit, people are more likely to bump into items on the deck, trip, or fall down the stairs. Install exterior lighting that illuminates the deck and stairs from multiple angles.

Secure the Railing

The railing around a deck must remain secure at all times in order to prevent falls. Test your railing several times each year. Push against the railing and try to move the balusters. Even slightly loose rails should be reinforced or replaced. The balusters that support the railing should be inspected and replaced as needed.

Check the Boards

Sanding and sealing or staining wooden boards protect your deck and make it less likely to splinter. Weather exposure, pest damage, and other factors may result in the weakening of boards. Once or twice each year, inspect the boards to identify weak spots or defects that require attention. Replace any boards that are rotting, damaged, or otherwise in poor shape.

Each of these deck safety tips addresses a hazard associated with decks. May is a perfect time to focus on deck condition. Make repairs as needed to have your deck safe and ready to enjoy this summer.

AAA Home Inspections provides home inspection services to Central and Northern New Jersey. Contact us to schedule an appointment.