Keeping Your Cool
5 easy ways to help keep your home cool this summer.
- Close window coverings on south- and west-facing sides of the house until dusk.
- Change ceiling fans to the summer rotation setting (counter-clockwise) to make the room feel cooler.
- Give the stove a rest and use the outdoor grill instead.
- Use a programmable or smart thermostat to raise the AC temperature when you’re not home.
- Take well-deserved breaks with homemade lemonade on ice!
The Thrill of the Grill
Before firing up the grill, consider these safety tips for trouble-free cooking!
- Never use a grill under a porch, overhang, carport, deck, or in a garage. Make sure the grill rests on a stable surface and can’t be tipped over. If the grill has locking casters, make sure they are engaged.
- Never use a propane or charcoal grill indoors.
- Periodically check hoses and connections on gas grills throughout the grilling season. Replace any cracked or brittle hoses before using the grill. Propane tanks should never be stored in a garage or other structure at any time.
- Start charcoal fires using a chimney starter instead of charcoal lighter fluid. Not only is a chimney starter safer, but your meal will taste better. If fluid is used, never add it to the coals once the fire has been lit.
- To help prevent grease fires, remove accumulated grease and residue from inside the lid of the grill at least every 5-6 uses. Use baking soda to extinguish a grease fire still contained within the grill unit.
- Always keep young children and pets away from the grill during and after cooking. With charcoal grills in particular, the exterior can remain hot long for a long time.
Get in the Swim
Get the most out of your backyard pool with these practical tips for protecting pool users.
While it’s fun to take a refreshing dip, swim a few laps, or just watch the kids splash around, drownings and pool-related injuries occur each year, affecting thousands of families.
Here are some “musts” for enjoying a safe swim:
- Anyone using the pool should know how to swim. An experienced swimmer should always be present if anyone is still learning to swim.
- The pool should be enclosed with fencing a minimum of 4’ high. Gates should self-close and self-latch, with the latch inaccessible to small children. Homeowners should check local requirements for pool enclosures, as they may be stricter and/or provide additional specifications. If you have recently added or renovated a pool, an inspection may be required to approve the pool for use.
- An adult must always be present when children are in or around the pool. For younger children, the adult should be at the poolside. It is not enough to simply look out a window or door to check on them.
- Diving should be limited to in-ground pools. If there is a diving board, it must have sufficiently deep water beneath it. Always dive hands first, and jump feet first.
- To avoid possible injury, keep children away from pool filters and drains. Make sure pool surrounds and decking are free of toys and other objects that could be stepped on. And walk, don’t run, near the pool to avoid slips and falls.
- Keep rescue equipment nearby and easily accessible. For added peace of mind, consider having family members learn CPR skills.