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With the days getting longer and warm weather in the forecast, you may be looking forward to time at the beach or cottage, traveling overseas with the family, splashing in the pool, or just relaxing with friends in the backyard. Regardless of your definition of a fun, relaxing summer, you’ll want to make sure you, your family, and guests stay safe. Here are a few tips you may want to consider:

Headed to the beach or a day by the pool?

  • Make sure your pool is guarded and fenced.
  • Supervise all swimmers, especially children, at all times around the pool and at the beach.
  • Consider hiring a professional life guard if you are having a pool party.
  • Take CPR and water safety courses with your family – you never know when those skills will come in handy. For Canadian Red Cross videos and classes, click here.

Ready to open your summer home?

  • Turn the utilities on, and set up lawn, pool, and garbage service, if needed.
  • Check your boating registration and schedule help at the marina to get your boat in the water. 
  • Inspect your deck for rot or winter damage, and get it repaired before guests arrive.
  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Make sure you have coverage on everything, including jet skis, wave runners, and ATVs.
  • Check out this article with more tips.


Starting up the backyard BBQ?

  • Use warm water and mild soap to clean your barbecue, fire pit, or chimenea before using it for the season.
  • Never leave the fire unattended and make sure children stay a safe distance away.
  • Keep water or a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergency.
  • Keep your fire out from under trees, low-hanging plants or flowers, and away from anything flammable.

Enjoying the sunshine?

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. A good rule of thumb is the “8x8 rule” or 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water each day.
  • Keep a first aid kit handy at home and in the car, for cuts, scrapes, burns, or insect bites.
  • Use repellent containing DEET or other EPA-approved ingredients if you’re going to be around trees or brush, as Zika, West Nile virus and Lyme disease are all transmitted by insects that are out in the summer months.
  • Protect your skin by using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, which blocks 97 percent of the sun’s UVB rays. Keep in mind that the sun’s UVB rays can cause damage to your skin in as little as 15 minutes.


Traveling abroad?

  • Stay in smaller, boutique hotels that are less conspicuous.
  • Dress for the culture so you can blend into the crowd and not announce yourself as a “tourist.”
  • Leave copies of your documents with a friend, including passport, driver’s license, visa, and travel itinerary.
  • Only rent a car if you’re familiar with the terrain. Otherwise a well-known taxi is better.
  • Don’t post or geo-tag on social media, because this lets criminals know where you are (and that you’re not at home).

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