Celebrate Summer Safely: Tips for Summer Gatherings
We would argue that summers in the West are some of the most beautiful in the United States. From Washington to Wyoming, summer is a great time for all kinds of celebrations. But traditional summer activities, like pool parties and Fourth of July fireworks, each come with their own dangers. We’ve come up with a few summer safety tips that will help you and your family enjoy a fun and safe summer!
Swimming Pool Safety
Pool parties are a great way to cool off and relax during the summer, but pools can also be quite dangerous. Every year there are thousands of drownings in privately owned pools, many of them children under the age of 15. There are an even greater number of injuries in and around pools.
Here are a few pool safety tips to keep in mind as you enjoy the summer:
- Always inspect the pool for broken glass, toys, and loose objects before anyone swims.
- Children and novice swimmers should always be supervised. Never leave a child alone in a pool, even for a few seconds.
- “NO RUNNING” is sound advice. Every swimmer should verbally reinforce this golden rule.
- Never dive into a pool that is not explicitly designed for diving.
- Don’t swim during lightning storms. Lightning is attracted to open bodies of water.
- Install fencing around your pool area so that people do not swim while you’re out of the house. Fencing can also help keep small children from wandering into the pool unnoticed.
- Do not drink or eat in the pool, and never swim while under the influence of alcohol.
- Keep electronic equipment away from the pool area, especially objects that are plugged into an outlet.
- Never swim alone.
Lighting fireworks is one of the most beloved Fourth of July traditions, but every year thousands of people are injured and killed by fireworks. Fireworks also cause damage to countless homes each year, and have started devastating forest fires in the Pacific Northwest.
Here are a few firework safety tips:
- Designate a space for the fireworks that is clearly marked for everyone to see, including those passing by.
- Only light one firework at a time, and wait a moment after the firework is done before you approach it. Some firework devices pause before continuing to shoot sparks.
- We recommend avoiding sparklers altogether, as they injure many children every year.
Am I Liable?
As a homeowner, when you host a party on your property you are subject to premises liability and social host liability laws. As the host, you may be held responsible for injury and damage to property while guests are on your premises. To avoid financial trouble due to a lawsuit or other legal action, keep the following in mind:
- Homeowners insurance will cover damage to your property as well as injury. The average policy will pay for injury claims as well as legal defense costs if a guest sues you for an injury. You can increase your coverage with most homeowner’s insurance plans.
- Umbrella insurance can extend the protection of your homeowner’s insurance in premises liability cases due to injury and other social liabilities.
- Serving alcohol to guests may nullify liability protection in certain circumstances, so make sure you understand the laws on alcohol in your state before hosting a Fourth of July party.
- Do not use fireworks that are illegal in your state. They are illegal for a reason, and homeowner’s insurance and umbrella insurance will not cover damage and injury due to illegal fireworks
Don't take chances with your summer fun. Meet with one of Grange Insurance Association's local independent agents to discuss a homeowner's policy that keeps your mind at ease year-round.
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