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Six Simple Tips For Spring Home Safety

05/31/2013 05:50 EDT | Updated 07/30/2013 05:12 EDT

The weather has finally turned the corner and spring has sprung.

Birds are chirping, the sun is shining and we've all got a bit more "pep in our step." After all, it's been a long cold winter and we've paid our seasonal dues to Mother Nature.

Having been cooped up indoors for so many months, is it any wonder that we're itching to get outside? The garden beckons, the lawn needs weeding, and the trees need to be trimmed. Now's the perfect time, right?

While we may be gung-ho about getting lawn work and gardening done, there are a few things that need to be kept in mind, in order to keep the family safe.

Kid's Recreation and Play

1) Go fly a kite...safely -- Kids love to play outdoors, and flying kites is often on the agenda once the warm weather hits. While this activity is one of the highlights of summer play for children, it does have its risks, if the child is not prepared. Speak with your kids about the importance of being aware of their surroundings, and that outdoor play should be in an area that is free of powerlines and hydro transformers.

2) Don't open Pandora's box -- As appealing and enticing as they may seem to children, transformer boxes and switching cubicles are not to be touched or played upon. Kids will be kids and the common urge to poke sticks, wires and other objects into the enclosures should be preemptively halted by parents. Have a chat with your child about outdoor safety and what they should and shouldn't be doing when they spend time playing outdoors. As part of this discussion, teach your kids about the High Voltage signage that is clearly displayed on transformer and switching boxes. It's important that children know to not try to retrieve a ball or toy that lands in or close to one of these enclosures. Instead, kids should alert their parents who can they call their local hydro or electric company. By doing so, you'll avert potential injury and assure that your child enjoys their time outside.

3) DON'T climb every mountain -- As much as kids love climbing, they should be cautioned against their desire to scale hydro poles and transmission towers. Yes, they may look appealing, and it's in many children's bones to want to scale every tall, skyward-pointing item that they encounter. Just because it's there doesn't mean that it has to be climbed. Teach your kids accordingly and keep them safe.

Gardening and Exterior Home Maintenance

4) Heads Up -- After the long, cold winter, gardeners can't wait to get their shears out and go crazy on the trees and hedges. Sure, cutting back branches and pruning may be one of the more necessary aspects of garden work so it's no wonder that this is one of the first things that are done once the ice melts. Before tree-trimming, remember to look up and out to ensure that branches that you may be in contact with are not touching any powerlines up above. If you're not sure, contact your local hydro or electric company to check. They'll able to remove the branches for you in the event of any potential dangers.

5) Stay Back -- What is it about the sun coming out that makes us realize how dirty our windows are? And that eavestrough? Yikes -- it's filled with leaves. You may be primed to get up on the roof and clean them out; as well while you're up there, it makes sense to fix any leaks that are evident. Regardless of how you choose to spruce up your home, take care whenever there is a need to climb a ladder to the roof. Always remember to carry your ladder horizontally to avoid connection with any powerlines that may run across your property. Similarly, make sure to look up and take a general scan of the general area surrounding your roof before any work is done. Better safe than sorry.

6) Dial Before You Dig -- While it may be tempting to jump head first into that new patio deck project or installing a new swimming pool it's wise to practice some due diligence before moving ahead. A simple call to your local hydro or electric company before you dig, will allow you to stay safe on your property. Let the professionals give you the green-light to go ahead after they check for underground powerlines on the property.

For more information on powerline safety, see www.powerlinesafety.ca

This post also appears at www.multiplemayhemmamma.com

Spring In Canada