There are many reasons why you should make your deck safe for children and pets. Kida and animals can be harmed by falling off, getting splinters, being hurt in a grilling accident, or ingesting a toxic plant. Here are 5 ways to optimize your deck’s safety.

Install a Gate to Make Your Deck Safe

Install a gate on your deck to close any gaps and contain kids and pets in the area. A latching gate will keep them from wandering out into the yard and neighborhood and also prevent falls down the stairs. Make sure that you are also able to lock the door that leads out onto the deck.

Safety with Grills

If you have a barbecue or propane grill or other grilling accessories on your deck, keep them well away from children and pets. Never leave a grill unattended while cooking. Grilling should not be done under a deck awning, overhang, or low branches. Keep children and pets off the deck while the grill is lit to prevent accidents.

Maintain the Condition of Your Deck

Over time, wooden decks will splinter. Check the deck boards and railings for signs of wear and tear regularly. If your deck is starting to show signs of wear, a sanding and coat of sealer will restore its safety.

Nails may protrude from the deck’s surface, posing a tripping hazard and potentially injuring you, your children, and your pets. Remove protruding nails and hammer new ones in to secure the boards.

Keep your deck in better condition by pressure washing it at least once a year. Not only does soil and grime collect, but mildew can form on the deck and cause it to rot. Mold and mildew also make the deck surface slick. A pressure washer will help to remove mildew and dirt.

Only Grow Safe Plants on the Deck

If you enjoy deck container planting, first check to make sure the plant species you select are non-toxic; several popular outdoor plants can be harmful to children and pets.

Make Your Deck Safe with Secure Railings

In order to prevent falls off of the deck, make sure the railings are stable. Loose railings can break free if pressure is applied. Falling off a deck can cause injuries like broken bones and concussions, and even death if the deck is high off the ground. Check all deck railings and fix those that are loose.

American Dream Home Inspections provides inspection services to New Jersey. Contact us to schedule an appointment.