When the weather gets warm and the sun starts to shine even brighter on those brisk Florida spring and summer days, one of the first things many people turn to is the backyard for fun and relaxation. The cover comes off the pool, the barbecue gets fired up, and the music starts playing as friends and neighbors all congregate to celebrate this gorgeous time of the year. When you are throwing a backyard get-together like this, the last thing that you are thinking about is the possibility of being sued. But that is just what can happen if you are not careful. Here are some things to make sure of before the next time you throw a backyard party. Brought to you by Fort Lauderdale premises attorneys.
If you are like many Floridians, you may have a pool nestled in your backyard for comfort and relaxation. This can be an awesome place for all of your friends to hangout. But Florida also has one of the highest rates of death due to swimming pool accidents, so make sure that you follow these safety protocols:
- Keep the pool area clear of obstructions such as pool toys and a lot of cluttered lawn furniture. These can be tripping hazards that can send someone sprawling into the pool before you know it. (This is also a good idea anyway, because someone can always trip and land on the patio, injuring themselves without the presence of a pool.)
- Get a good security fence and alarm. While you may have a lot of friends coming over to use the pool, what you don’t want is unwelcome visitors using it while you aren’t around. If someone comes onto your property and drowns in your pool, you can still possibly be held liable. So get a good size (at least five foot high) wall or fence to surround the pool. Also, consider investing in a security alarm that is motion activated if someone enters the pool area or breaks the surface of the water.
- Never leave children unattended. You should always make sure that children are supervised if they are using the pool and that an adult who knows how to swim is with them at all times.
Grilling is an art-form that many of us love to show off during the summer. But it is also one of the leading causes of home fires in the U.S. To prevent this and other food safety issues, consider the following:
- If you are using a gas grill, have it inspected to make sure that all of the parts such as the ignition and the connectors to the propane tank or gas line are in working order.
- Whether you are using gas or charcoal, make sure that the grill is not near the patio deck or overhanging tree branches as these may catch fire easily. Try to leave yourself about ten feet of clearance for safety sake.
- Protect your guests from bacteria in the food. This is a common problem and can be fixed by not leaving mayonnaise or other egg based products out in the sun. Also, refrigerate all meat, even when the recipe says to thaw or marinate at room temperature. Finally, invest in a good meat thermometer to make sure that your hamburgers and chickens are at the right internal temperature (160 and 165 degrees respectively).
While some take pride in the landscaping of their backyard, they may not realize that even this can be a lurking hazard. Several plants indigenous to Florida (including jimson weed and oleander) can actually be toxic if swallowed. Others may cause a skin rash if someone comes in contact with them. Don’t feel that you have to put up warning signs around all of the plants, but do keep a sharp eye out for kids or pets that may become sick around your lawn foliage.
No one wants an unwanted injury plaguing them at a party or get-together. And worrying about a lawsuit is the last thing you want this summer. But if you are injured at such a gathering, or one of your guests is injured while you are hosting, be sure to contact the attorneys of Wolf & Pravato to ensure that your rights are respected.