Landscaping: Safety in Hardscaping and Home Pool Safety
When developing a landscaping plan, it is important to keep the design safe. Stacked rock walls, waterfalls and pools may be beautiful additions to your home’s exterior, but if it is not safe for you, your family or your guests, your time and effort may not reflect the serene or fun atmosphere you had intended. To get the most out of your landscaping, keep the following free suggestions in mind to make the space a usable, safe extension of your home.
Make Pools Safe
One of the more lovely and fun aspects of a backyard renovation, a pool can add years of excellent memories to your family experience. However, if not installed properly, a pool can become a dangerous nightmare for you and your family. Some ways to keep your pool safe include:
- Place a child gate around your pool whether you have children or not. Neighborhood children could fall into your pool as easily as a child in your own family could, so a safety fence is a must in pool safety.
- Lock the fence. Always lock the pool fence when not in use to prevent a child from falling in.
- Pump housing should be locked. Any chemicals for the pool should be locked away in the pool house.
- Railings and ladders. All pools should have ladders and/or railings to make exiting the pool easy and safe.
Care should also be taken when installing other water features in your landscaping projects. Ponds and water basins have their own sets of safety precautions of which you should be aware. For example, ponds or water features with standing water basins should always be fenced off like a pool. Standing water features should also have some feature that provides movement, like a fountain, to decrease the chance of harboring the West Nile virus.
Boulders and Rocks
Many landscapes now include boulder designs and rock formations, but both can be dangerous if not properly designed. To decrease accidents, it is important to choose boulders and rocks with smooth edges. Also, if creating a stacked rock design, rocks should be connected together with a steel bar and mortar to ensure stability.
Sidewalks and paths present their own problems in landscape design. Some materials can create tripping hazards, and stairs need to be constructed properly for the most natural steps. Therefore, the following tips can help you create a beautiful and safe hardscaping design:
- Steps should be constructed with a natural rise and tread. Narrow stairs or too-short stairs are tripping hazards.
- Stairs should also be created with materials neither too smooth nor too rough. Limestone, concrete, bricks or railroad ties are all materials that allow for traction but not for tripping or slipping hazards.
- Pathways should be made level with the grass to avoid tripping hazards.
- Paths should be constructed properly so cracking and uneven surfaces do not develop.
- Pathways should also be well-lit.
Beautifying your landscape can be a pleasurable experience, but there are many hazards to consider when designing your space. Keeping the safety of your family, friends and neighbors in mind in your design can increase the safety potential of your yard.