The hot things around the outdoor area have to be kept safe, at all times. Fire hazards, electrical hazards and tripping hazards all have to be locked down. This is actually pretty easy to do, but you have to be sure you’ve got all these things under control, particularly when you have guests who don’t know their way around your place. The good news is that your outdoor veranda, patio, or pergola is very easy to keep safe, all the time.
Fire hazards- Barbeques, propane, firelighters, etc.
These are all potential risks, and they need to be kept under control from the outset:
- Barbeques: Anything flammable, particularly liquids, should be kept well clear of them when in operation. Keep alcohol and any oils separately located, well away from the BBQ.
- Propane: The gas should be removed from the area when not actually required. Make sure there’s no leaks from the valves, or any smell of gas.
- Firelighters: These are extremely flammable, and should be kept in fireproof containers in a storage space. Throw out any damaged bottles, too, because the leaks can be in the wrong places at the wrong time.
- Kids: Kids and flames are a bad combination. Use the kid-safe approach at all times in relation to any flammable materials and hot surfaces.
Electrical hazards- Heat, water and appliances
- Heat: Most wiring is vulnerable to relatively low heat from barbeques and other cookers, so site your BBQ well away from any wiring or electrical fittings.
- Water: There’s often a lot of liquid around the outdoor cooking zones, and it’s best to set up your drinks on the other side of the area from appliances.
- Appliances: Outdoor TVs, stereos, or anything else plugged in to the mains need to be protected from heat, water, and impact. It’s a good idea to put these things in protective housing like an entertainment unit or shelving to keep them safe.
Tripping hazards (cables, etc.)
Anything which can be tripped over probably will be tripped over.
- Try to avoid running any cables at all across floor space.
- If you can’t avoid it, make sure cables are very firmly secured with heavy duty masking tape.
- Small ground level things like toys, and anything else which is likely to be underfoot should be kept under furniture or removed.
Built in safety tips for outdoor areas
You can have some additional safety backup for your outdoor areas as well:
- CO2 fire extinguishers: A couple of these can save a house. These little bottles can carry a lot of CO2, and can shut down any fire hazard from a BBQ easily. (Never use water on a fire containing oil: It spreads the flames and actually makes them hotter as the water and oil interact. Splash can also create more fires.)
- Sprinklers: Outdoor sprinklers are exactly like the indoor version. They’re easy to install, and you can have one or two set up by a local tradesman in no time, wherever you want them.
Your outdoor area can be a perfectly safe place. Save yourself some worry with a few basic safety precautions, and you’ll have no worries.