Seasons don’t alter need for caution in backyards
Proper and working gate hardware can keep children from wandering where they should not be.

From building snowmen with the kids in winter to playing fetch with Fido in the spring, your backyard is the backdrop for fun activity all year long.

That means safety should be top of mind during all seasons. Just as you take steps to protect your children inside your house, you must be cautious of the dangers outside as well.

The first step to keeping your backyard safe is to assess your fence. Fences help protect children from danger, keeping toddlers out of swimming pools, hot tubs and ponds or keeping them in the yard, away from busy traffic or strangers. Fences can also help keep your own pets in your yard, and other animals out. They can reduce your liability by preventing injuries to uninvited guests on your property, or injury caused by escaped pets.

“A good weekend winterizing project is making sure your fences and gates are functioning properly and are protected from rust, a destructive force that can render gate hardware useless or dangerous,” said Jim Paterson, senior vice president of D&D Technologies, which manufactures gate latches and hinges made of ultra-strong engineering polymers. “In our research, we found that when homeowners consider their fencing needs, rusty metal gate hardware that no longer functions properly or becomes a threat to children was their top concern. Rustfree and adjustable gate hardware is the simple solution.”

Seasonal weather, ground settling and other factors can cause a gate to become misaligned over time and not function properly. It is important to have gate hardware that can be easily adjusted to overcome this. TruClose self-closing, tension adjustable hinges are an ideal solution. Some models are vertically and horizontally adjustable as well. Combined with D&D adjustable, locking gate latches will ensure your gate will always function properly.

In addition to checking your fence and gate hardware, consider these backyard safety steps for your home:

n Tighten and cover any protruding bolts on swing sets and do not attach ropes or cords, which could become strangulation hazards.

n Remove old tree stumps and rocks. Level concrete footings to avoid tripping.

n Seal wooded features such as decks, swing sets and picnic tables before inclement weather sets in.

n Fence in pool and spa areas and ensure your gate is self-closing and self-latching with TruClose hinges and Magnalatch Safety Gate Latch to ensure latches are out of the reach of children.

n Eliminate access to lawn equipment and chemicals. Put these items completely out of the reach of children.

nKeepa fi rsta idkit and a rescue kit for those backyards with water features easily accessible.

A little prevention along the way will keep backyards safe and provide wonderful memories for families.