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Family safety tips when designing and building your patio

There is nothing more important to a family than the safety of their children and that begins with home and back yard safety. Children of all ages can get into all kinds strife in the out doors. A lot of the time there are steps that parents can take to ensure that children can avoid serious injury around the home and backyard. Assessing your pergola or patio for safety is one of those areas that preventative measures can be taken.

Sun safety is a great concern for families in Australia. With the long, hot summers and exposure to dangerous UVA and UVB radiation, parents are constantly having to be vigilant about sun protection. That is why sun protection should be top of the list of concerns when building your patio or pergola. The position of the patio will have an enormous effect on the amount of shade your roof cover will provide, so think carefully about where in the yard you will get maximum coverage. The type of roof cover you choose will also contribute greatly to the sun protection your patio will provide. Instead of choosing a transparent PVC or shade cloth, perhaps a more heavy duty fabric or opaque material will be better suited to families with children.

The position of your patio or pergola will not only have ramifications for the amount of sun protection it will provide, but also the level of safety it will provide. Keep your patio away from the front of the house, to ensure that children aren’t at risk of road dangers. Don’t build a patio near a garage or garden shed, because there are many dangers lurking in those areas and it is best not to invite curiosity. Try and install your patio or pergola on level ground to prevent the need for steps or raised platforms.

The railings of your patio is another area of concern for family safety. If you have had to build a patio raised from ground level then you will no doubt need to have a balcony or railing of some sort. If small children are likely to be spending any time in this area then make sure the safest option is used for the railings. Keep the bars or panels close together, to prevent a little person from either rolling through the bottom rung or squeezing through the middle layers. Ensure the top of the railing is high enough so that children cannot mount the balcony and then possibly fall off the ledge. Make sure the rungs or panels of the railing cannot be used like a ladder and climbed up. Beware of using materials like glass or stainless wire, these are accidents waiting to happen for curious children. And finally, try and make the edges of the railings smooth or rounded. Children will always find their way to pointy edges and ledges.

Pool safety is one area that cannot be underestimated. Even with the mandatory fencing in Australia there are still many children drowning every year in back yard pools. It is essential that if you are building your patio or pergola near a pool that you employ the highest levels of out door safety.

Make the fences or balconies high enough to prevent a child from climbing them. Make sure the fences and railings don’t have any positions for foot holds that will allow for climbing. Install child proof locks on any gates leading into the pool area. Make sure you tile the area with a slip-proof tiles or paving to ensure that the floor doesn’t get slippery if pool water is spashed onto the surface.

Patios and pergolas can be hazardous to children if they are not built with family and child safety in mind. So before building your patio or pergola, be sure to check all bases for safe construction specifications.

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