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Keep Your Backyard Summer Safe with These Tips

Summertime in Canada means it’s backyard season. We all need to make the most of the warmer weather, but we also want to be safe while doing it. That’s why Red River Mutual has compiled a list of do’s, don’ts, tips and tricks to make sure your backyard fun doesn’t…
June 25, 2021

Keep Your Backyard Summer Safe with These Tips

June 25, 2021

Summertime in Canada means it’s backyard season. We all need to make the most of the warmer weather, but we also want to be safe while doing it. That’s why Red River Mutual has compiled a list of do’s, don’ts, tips and tricks to make sure your backyard fun doesn’t turn into a claim situation. Let’s start with the main attraction – your BBQ.


Your BBQ

It’s hot, occasionally on fire and in the middle of everything, so it’s important to take precautions before you fire up the grill. Every BBQ comes with its own set of safety instructions, but these are a few steps you can take to keep you and your property safe.

  1. Place your BBQ on a level surface away from the house, garage and anything it might harm such as children or pets. Also keep it away from other flammable or meltable items like deck chairs, wood or vinyl siding.
  2. Never grill inside your home or garage – even if it’s raining.
  3. Never light a propane or natural gas BBQ with the lid closed. Gas buildups can occur resulting in singed eyebrows, or more serious explosions.
  4. If you can’t light your gas or propane BBQ the first few times, turn it off, let the gas dissipate and try again.
  5. Keep lit cigarettes, matches and any sources of gas as far away from the hot surface and grease on your barbecue.
  6. Never use gasoline on a charcoal grill. Only use starter fluids designed for your grill. It’s a case of spend now, save later.

These simple steps can help you prevent small things (like melted siding), but also major losses for you and the people you care about. For more ways to make sure your backyard BBQ is a success check out our full Loss Prevention Tip.


Your Propane

One of the more dangerous items sitting in your backyard might be a propane tank. It’s a necessary part of your successful backyard barbecue, but should be treated with care. Here are some handling and usage tips you can check off to make sure you stay safe.

Transporting your propane tank

  • Keep valves closed and insert safety plugs – even if the tank is empty.
  • Always stand it upright and keep it in a well-ventilated area.
  • Always set it down gently.
  • Always secure it when transporting in vehicles.
  • For added peace of mind, try storing it in plastic milk crates.
  • Never leave it in a vehicle for extended periods of time.
  • Keep it away from heat or flame.

When Using a Propane Tank

  • Place and secure it on a firm base, away from excessive heat.
  • When connecting your propane cylinder, note that the cylinder-valve connection has a left-hand thread. This can only be used with appliances approved for propane.
  • After you have connected the cylinder, check for leaks. Use soapy water or a leak detector.
  • Fully open the cylinder valve so that it operates properly.
  • Always use a pressure-reducing regulator to stabilize your tank.
  • Do not let the propane cylinder get too hot as the pressure will rise.

That may seem like a lot of things to look out for but mishandling a propane tank can result in expensive claims, and more importantly, harm to the people you love. Keep your propane safely stored and take every safety precaution this summer. For a full checklist check out our Loss Prevention Tip.


Your Backyard

Keeping your backyard in tip-top shape could have benefits that go beyond a nice place to sit down and relax. It could also prevent a fire.

Keeping your grass healthy, cut, and watered to creates a natural firebreak, and cleaning up dead leaves and twigs from your yard, roof and gutters removes chances for fires to start and spread.

Things like using a spark arrester on your equipment to prevent sparking, following the BBQ safety tips above and communicating to any children on the property the dangers of playing with fire can also reduce the risk of a fire starting on your property.

Finally, keeping a water resource on hand is important. You never know when you might need it and saving time by having it handy can save property and lives. For more information about backyard fire hazards, check out the full Loss Prevention Tip.


Your Animals

While you’re looking after your backyard it’s also important to look after the safety of any pets or livestock that share the space. Fire safety is a concern when heat sources are used incorrectly or overlooked. Here’s some tips to keep in mind if you are raising backyard livestock.

  • Make sure that heat lamps and space heaters are properly secured to keep them from being knocked over.
  • Keep heat lamps away from anything that can burn.
  • Ensure that space heaters are designed and approved for permanent heating in agricultural buildings.
  • Regularly brush cobwebs and dust from light fixtures and electrical outlets.
  • Choose light bulbs that have covers to protect them from dirt, moisture and breaking.
  • Do not use extension cords in the animal housing building unless it’s for temporary use.
  • Choose electrical equipment that is designed for agricultural or commercial use and have all installations done by a qualified electrician.
  • Be careful with electrically heated animal waterers. Make sure the cord and plug are in good condition and are properly grounded.
  • Regularly check all electrical wiring for fraying or damage.
  • Choose electrical outlets and switch boxes designed to keep out dust and water.
  • Store baled hay away from livestock and ensure hay and bedding storage is not near anything that can burn.

Following these tips may take some extra time and effort, but they’ll keep your livestock and property safer. To learn more about backyard animal safety, check out the full Loss Prevention Tip.


Now, Enjoy Your Summer

Warmer weather brings a lot of perks with it and one of them is the chance to enjoy your backyard. So, sit back and relax knowing you’ve taken the necessary precautions to prevent a claim. Don’t forget to check out our Loss Prevention Tips Archive for more ways to act now and save later.