Your deck is an extension of your living spaces that lets your family and friends enjoy the outdoors. In preparation for springtime, let’s look at what you can do to make your deck safe for pets and children.

Make Your Deck Safe by Keeping the Door Locked

One of the biggest safety risks regarding decks is allowing small children to access the deck unattended. The door leading out to the deck should remain locked at all times. Place the lock high enough so curious kids can’t easily escape.

Pay Attention to the Railing

Install a cover for the railing if your existing deck doesn’t have spindles placed close together. You don’t want children or pets to get stuck between the railings. Clear acrylic panels that are screwed into the wood are a good option. Another option is a heavy-duty plastic mesh. This type typically uses cable ties to secure it to the spindles. If you’re building a new deck, place the spindles less than three inches apart for safety.

Provide Pets Shade From the Sun

It’s normal for pets to want to be out on the deck with you. However, their paws can get burned when the deck’s surface becomes hot from the sun. Stone and composite decks can easily become too hot for pets to comfortably walk on.

Check deck materials by testing the temperature when the sun is out. If you can’t hold the back of your hand down on the deck for five seconds, then you need to make your deck safer. Create a cool, shady area for your pets by using a patio umbrella, retractable awning, or potted tree.

Add a Gate to Make Your Deck Safe

Install a locked gate to block stairs when you need to confine a child or pet to the deck area. A baby gate will make this easy. Pay close attention to any furniture positioned close to the gate or railing. Pets and children can climb the furniture and topple over the railing or gate.

Do You Have Toxic Plants on the Deck?

Many people have potted plants on their deck. If you have pets or children, make sure those plants aren’t toxic. Some plants, such as azalea, can be harmful if ingested. Research which plants are safe before using them on your deck.

Grill Safely

A grill is a great accessory to keep on your deck. However, it isn’t the safest item for kids and pets to be around. Make your deck safe by keeping the grill away from main traffic areas. Keep the grill closed and covered when not in use and store grilling utensils in a safe place.

Checkpoint Home Inspections offers home inspections to northwest Oregon. Contact us to schedule an appointment.