Don’t play with a full deck. If your party moves out onto the deck, be careful not to exceed its capacity. Some 6,500 people have ended up in the emergency room with injuries from a collapsed balcony or porch since 2003. Dry rot is a common cause, so inspect your deck regularly to ensure its integrity. And know how much weight your deck can safely support.
Flavor without the flames. Don’t let your grill become a fire hazard—keep it far away from your home. If the hose supplying gas is too short, invest in a longer one so you can move the grill more than 10 feet away. Also, if it sits on a deck, ensure that its legs can’t slip between the deck boards, making it unstable. And never empty the grill after the party; cover the grill, close the top and bottom vents, and dispose of the ashes the next day.
Light the way to safety. It’s best to completely avoid using sky lanterns—those rice paper hanging decorations popular at outdoor parties. The lit flame inside the lantern can cause it to float into the air, ignite a tree or brush and spark a fire.
Wax and wane. If candles are your outdoor lighting choice, choose sturdy holders that won’t easily tip. Better yet—use the flameless candles becoming increasingly popular and more widely available. That way, you get the ambiance without the risk.
Keeping fire in the pits. If your outdoor entertaining includes gathering around the fire pit or portable fireplace, it’s a good idea to follow these best practices: ensure there’s always an adult present, the fireplace is free of spilled fuel and a burning flame is never left unattended. Keep anything flammable at least three feet from the fire. And if you’re using an ethanol-burning fireplace, only pour fuel in a device that is completely cool.
Care for Your Car’s Key Safety System—its Windshield
If the final days of summer find you setting off on a road trip, you might want to first check your windshield. Safelite, the country’s largest auto glass repair company, offers these reasons why you should pay attention to your car’s front window on the road:
Chips can get bigger. Bumps in the road or extremes in temperatures can turn a chip into a crack in a flash, putting you and your passengers at risk.
It’s a shield against roof collapse. The windshield keeps the roof from caving in if you have an accident and the car rolls over.
Better airbag protection. Passenger-side airbags can bounce off the windshield in a crash. If the windshield is in poor condition, the airbag may force it out of the frame and your passenger loses that protection.
Diligent windshield maintenance is an important defense against accidents, and a key way to keep you and your passengers safe.