Summertime is a season of relaxation for many of us. Warm temperatures and long daylight hours means plenty of opportunities for time spent in the great outdoors with family and friends. Walking on the Monon, grilling out with neighbors or simply catching a tan in your backyard may be activities you look forward to every summer. While the opportunity for outdoor fun increases, so does the opportunity for outdoor liability. If you own a pool, trampoline or even a playground for your kids, now is the time to be extra vigilant. The Dean Ballenger Agency has some tips to help you protect yourself from potential liability claims this summer.

Have a pool?

  1. Rules. Make sure that any friends or family you have over know the rules that you expect to be followed for your pool. These rules may include no running, no diving or no playing chicken. If you have children, make sure they are aware of these rules along with any friends they invite over. It may even be a good idea to make a sign and post it near the pool that lists what these rules are.
  2. Cover yourself! Using a cover on your pool while it is not in use can prevent visitors both wanted and unwanted from falling in. Cover yourself by using a pool cover this summer
  3. Fence it in. Fences can block uninvited or unwanted visitors from taking a swim without your permission. Consider having a self-locking fence to prevent catastrophes from kids wandering around for some fun during summer nights.

Have a trampoline?

  1. Rules. Like with the pool, setting rules for the way the trampoline is used can help diminish the possibility for accidents and injuries. Rules such as no flips, no jumping at night or limiting the number of people allowed to jump at the same time can help create a safer environment.
  2. Limit access. Many trampolines can be purchased with a net to help prevent accidents. A sturdy net can be the barrier between a guest and a broken bone. Additionally, a fence around the backyard will limit access to uninvited guests.
  3. Location, location, location. Step back and look at your trampoline. Is it on a slope? Is there any sharp or dangerous equipment near by? Is it in the line of fire of the sprinkler? If the trampoline rests on a slope, gravity may not be your best friend in terms preventing liability claims. Make sure your trampoline is on a flat surface. Also, ensure that it is not near a fence with sharp peaks or any equipment such as a grill that reaches hot temperatures. In the event of someone falling off the trampoline, these would not be optimal things to land on. And of course, jumping on a wet surface versus a dry surface is easy math. The likelihood of slipping and falling increases greatly. Make sure your sprinkler is watering the grass, not the trampoline.

Have a playground?

  1. Rules. Like with pools and trampolines, it can never hurt to lay down some rules for how and when the playground can be used. Make sure your children are aware of these rules along with any friends they have over.
  2. Limit access. Fences seem to be a trend here, don’t they?
  3. Be a responsible owner. Inspect the playground occasionally to make sure no parts have broken, edges have sharpened or rust has taken over. Making sure that the playground is on flat, firm ground is crucial as well.
  4. Empty nest means empty yard. If your kids are long gone and no grandchildren are making use of the playground, get rid of it. Getting rid of a playground set may not rank high on your to-do list. However, if no one is using it, there is truly no reason to have it. The only purpose it could serve now is opening you up to a liability claim.

From all of us at the Dean Ballenger Agency, have a fun, safe summer! If you have any questions about this blog or blogs past, feel free to call us at 317-867-5433.