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    Year-round backyard safety tips for families

    Your backyard is a space where you enjoy quality time with your family – from running around with your kids in the fall leaves to playing catch with your furry friend in the snow. It’s a place to escape, but remember accidents can happen anywhere at any time, and just like you childproof your house, you need to ensure your backyard is safe as well.

    Keeping your backyard safe begins with your fence. A yard without a fence is a little like a house without walls. Fences help protect children from danger, keeping toddlers out of swimming pools, hot tubs and ponds or keeping them in the yard, away from busy traffic or strangers. Fences can also help keep your own pets in your yard, and other animals out. They can reduce your liability by preventing injuries to uninvited guests on your property, or damage or injury caused by escaped pets.

    “A good weekend winterizing project is making sure your fences and gates are functioning properly and are protected from rust, a destructive force that can render gate hardware useless or dangerous,” says Jim Paterson, senior vice president of D&D Technologies, which manufactures gate latches and hinges made of ultra-strong engineering polymers. “In our research, we found that when homeowners consider their fencing needs, rusty metal gate hardware that no longer functions properly or becomes a threat to children was their top concern. Rust-free and adjustable gate hardware is available.”

    Seasonal weather, ground settling and other factors can cause a gate to become misaligned over time and not function properly. It’s important to have gate hardware that can be easily adjusted to overcome this. TruClose self-closing, tension adjustable hinges are an ideal solution. Some models are vertically and horizontally adjustable as well.  Combined with D&D adjustable, locking gate latches will ensure your gate will always function properly. 

    Additional precautions to take when childproofing your backyard:

    * Tighten and cover any protruding bolts on swing sets and do not attach ropes or cords, which could become strangulation hazards.

    * Remove old tree stumps and rocks, level concrete footings to avoid tripping.

    *Seal wooded items such as decks, swing sets and picnic tables before inclement weather sets in.

    * Completely fence pool and spa areas with adjustable self-closing hinges like TruClose and self-latching gates, ensuring latches are out of the reach of children such as the Magnalatch Safety Gate Latch. Both products carry a lifetime warranty and are adjustable both vertically and horizontally for quick and easy adjustments.

    * Eliminate access to lawn equipment and chemicals. Put these items completely out of the reach of children.

    * Keep a first aid kit and a rescue kit for those backyards with water features easily accessible.

    Your backyard can be one of the most exciting places for your children through the entire year. A little prevention along the way will keep it safe and provide wonderful memories for your family.

    Look for D&D Technologies rust free gate hardware and child safety latches at or under the Stanley Hardware brand through Lowe’s.

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