The weather’s getting warmer – which means you’re heading out to the backyard for pool parties, barbecues, or just lazy afternoons in the sun. Is your backyard an accident waiting to happen? Here are four backyard hazards – and how to protect yourself. We found this in Prevention magazine.

  • Your grill. A charcoal grill next to something combustible is the leading cause of barbecue fires – that’s according to the National Fire Protection Association. We’re talking about things that can easily catch on fire – like the rails of a wooden deck, low hanging tree branches – even the eaves of your house. The easy fix: Make sure to leave a 10 foot clearing between your grill and the deck rails, side of the house, or overhanging plants.
  • An unfenced pool. According to the Home Safety Council, 25% of all drownings happen at home. Even if your kids are older, easy access to your pool could lure neighborhood kids or pets into the water when you’re not around. The recommended fix: Install a 5 foot high fence around it with a self-latching gate and never place furniture close enough to the fence that it could be used to scale the barrier.
  • Not-quite-extinguished charcoal. The charcoal may feel cool to the touch, but if the insides are still hot and you throw them away, you’re risking a fire. The easy fix: when you’ve finished grilling dinner, soak the coals in water and then place them in a metal can. Then keep the can on a non-flammable surface, like a cement patio or the driveway, until trash day.