A deck is the perfect place to entertain guests for backyard barbecues or to just enjoy time with your family. However, when you have small children in your home, you have to keep safety at the forefront for any addition or alteration that is made, especially when it comes to an outdoor area. Here are a few of the top parental concerns you may have about keeping your deck and its appliances safe for kids.
How tall should the railing of the deck be to prevent children from climbing over?
Even if the deck attached to your home is only a few feet off of the ground, a child making their way over the top of the railing and toppling to the ground can be dangerous. Standard rail height for most decks should be between 36 and 42 inches. In fact, if you were building your own deck, you would find that many rail pieces and balusters are pre-cut at this size. However, if you want to make sure your deck is as safe as possible, it is best to opt for the tallest balusters that are available.
Is there an attractive way to install a barrier or gate on openings to stairways or ramps?
The idea of toting an awkward looking child-safety gate to your deck when you head outdoors may not be the most desirable solution to keep a little one out of harm's way. Thankfully, a deck installation contractor can easily work with you to install a safety gate with a latch high enough that only an adult could reach. Later on if you want to remove the gate to stair or ramp openings, it will only involve the removal of the hinges, which just means pulling out a few door pins and removing the securing bolts.
Is it possible to create a deck enclosure for a grill or fire pit that would be childproof?
It is only logical that you would like to have your grill situated on your deck so you can easily pass from the kitchen to your outdoor cooking surface, but this can be dangerous with little ones around. If you must have your grill, talk to your chosen contractor about building a temporary partition or railing to sanction off the grilling area. According to eHow.com, you should cover a freestanding grill with a tarp when it isn't in use, and you should use a lock for a built-in grill's doors to protect children from propane and other hazardous chemicals. If you decide to use a fire pit, be sure to use a portable pad so that you protect your deck and children from other safety hazards--like stray embers.
Even with small children, a deck can be one of the most satisfying places for you and your family to hang out. When deck installation begins, make sure you have already talked to a contractor, like Reeves Exterior Services, about all of the safety concerns you have when it comes to your children.