Time is flying by and the school year has drawn to a close. This is the best time of year – when homeowners get to spend the most time outdoors.

We know board members are deeply committed to ensuring the safety of both the association and its homeowners. Whether hosting a barbecue, or just going to the pool with the kids, it’s a good idea to remind homeowners to take certain precautions this summer.

Below are helpful summer safety tips to remind your community of:

Sun Safety:

Stay hydrated! Summer plans can be exciting, but one should never leave home without water. A good rule of thumb is to have a water bottle on hand at all times for those who will be going outside for any length of time. Also, keep in mind that experts recommend a person drinks at least 8 ounces of water as a preventative measure before going outside in the summer heat.

Always have sunscreen on. Skin cancer is currently the form of cancer most frequently diagnosed in the United States, making skin protection an absolute must. This is particularly true if you will be outside for more than 15 minutes. Make a habit of always carrying a small bottle of sunscreen in your bag or vehicle for convenient reapplications.

Concerned the chemicals in sunscreen could lead to other types of cancers or general health problems? Consider using a mineral sunscreen.

Stay inside between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. These are the hours of the day when the sun is the most intense. Keeping out of the sun during peak hours is the best way to both stave off dehydration and protect yourself from the sun’s damaging effects.

Swimming Precautions:

Moderate alcohol consumption. More parties occur during the summer months than any other time of the year. Consider heavily curtailing intake (or abstaining entirely) from any substance that may affect your judgement.

This tip is especially important if you are going to be around large bodies of water, such as a lake, or if you plan to operate a boat or any other type of mechanical equipment or watercraft. Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, and while we are heavily conditioned to avoid driving a vehicle while under the influence, it’s equally as important to be sober while operating any type of watercraft.

Make sure children and other guests know how to swim. If you are hosting a party and are unsure about others’ swimming abilities, consider acting as your party’s unofficial lifeguard. You can always visit with other non-swimmers by the side of the pool, and any swim time you miss will be made up for with the peace of mind you’ll receive from knowing everyone is as safe from drowning as they reasonably can be.

As a board member, you may want to encourage parents of young children who are ready to start swimming to visit USA.gov for a list of reputable places in your area that can be contacted for swim lessons.

Grilling Hazards:

Summer is a great time to break out the grill and enjoy some backyard or neighborhood barbequing! Here are some ideas for how to maximize the safety of you and your guests while grilling:

Ensure there is at least 6 feet between the grill and any buildings or trees. Keeping a wide clearance drastically reduces the chance of anything catching fire.

Keep a large water bottle or a fire extinguisher by the grill when grilling. This enables you to act quickly in the event a fire does occur.

Keep grill lids closed when not actively checking or flipping your food. Doing so will help avoid flare-ups. This also helps cut off the oxygen necessary for larger, uncontained fires.

Added risks of living in hot, Southern climates:

For our Texas and Arizona boards, it may be a good idea to remind homeowners of the added risks associated with outdoor activities this summer – specifically, the higher incident rates of encountering dangerous wildlife such as rattlesnakes, water moccasins, scorpions, and fire ants.

If you are stepping outside of your home (including going into the garage or the backyard) always make sure you are wearing closed-toe shoes. If you are going hiking, wear hiking boots and long pants to help reduce the risk of any stings or bites.

Make a habit of practicing environmental awareness. Always scan the area you are in for any large dirt mounds, as this is a clear sign of fire ants. Snakes love to hide in brush, wood, or piled-up debris, so be vigilant if you are in an area that has any of these. Additionally, be cautious around any area that has water (including small streams and creeks), as water attracts wildlife.

Reduce the risk of unwanted wildlife coming into your yard through regular lawn care. Specifically, make sure your lawn is trimmed low and that you treat any ant mounds with pesticide. Consider hiring an exterminator to treat your home on a regular schedule.

While safety precautions can reduce risks during the summer months, nothing can entirely prevent the occasional sunburn, dehydration headache, outdoor encounters with wildlife, or water accident. However, following the tips above minimizes the chances of a glorious summer turning unpleasant.

We hope you found these tips helpful. Spectrum Association Management is one of the top HOA management companies and as such we want everyone to experience a safe, fun, and stress-free summer!