The Washington Times-Herald
---- — INDIANAPOLIS — As warmer weather returns to Indiana, Governor Mike Pence has declared the week of May 4-10 as Building Safety Week, and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security is reminding Hoosiers to ensure their home is safe and resilient during warmer weather.
Building safety week is part of the National Building Safety Month, which brings attention to the need for safe and secured buildings. The theme this year of Building Safety Month is “Maximizing Resilience, Minimizing Risks.”
As families move outdoors to enjoy the nicer weather, special precautions should be taken to ensure that outdoor fun remains safe. Swimming pools, grills, gardening tools and fertilizer pose risks to both children and adults.
Picking up toys and equipment helps ensure a longer life of those items.
Regularly checking sidewalks, patios and play ground equipment can reduce risk of falls or injury from damaged equipment.
Swimming pools are often a favorite activity, but can become deadly when not used properly. Children should always have adult supervision around any body of water. Nationally, drowning is a leading cause of death to children under five years old. Other pool safety tips include:
• Contact local building officials to determine what permits are needed for building a new pool.
• Have a fence at least four feet high surrounding any type of pool. All gates should be self-closing and self-latching.
• Remove all chairs, tables, large toys, and other objects that would allow children to reach the gate latch or to climb over the fence.
• Reserve a spot on a wall or table for life saving devices including a mobile phone.
• Steps and ladders for pools should be secured or removed when the pool is not in use.
• Make sure drain covers are properly fitted and paired, or have vacuum suction releases to prevent being trapped under water.
• Install a pool cover to completely block access to water in the pool.
• Spa temperature water should be set to 104 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to avoid elevated body temperature, which could lead to drowsiness, unconsciousness, heat stroke or death.
Outdoor grilling is often a part of warmer weather as well. However, the hot temperatures can be dangerous and lead to severe injuries. The following are tips for grilling safely:
• Designate the grilling area as a “No Play Zone” and keep kids and pets well away until the grill is cool.
• Check propane cylinder hoses for leaks before use.
• Do not move hot grills.
• Never add starter fluid when coals have already been ignited. Never use any combustible liquid other than charcoal starter fluid to get the fire going.
For more safety information, visit www.getprepared.in.gov.