Backyard, Grill and Pool Safety: Building Safety Month

May is Building Safety Month. The City of Cape Girardeau will be spotlighting specific areas of building safety each week during May. This week’s focus is backyard and pool safety.

Pool and Deck Safety

  1. Fences and gates around pools should be at least 48 inches tall. Gates should be locked.
  2. Remove all chairs, tables, large toys or other objects that would allow a child to climb up to reach the gate latch or enable the child to climb over the pool isolation fence.
  3. Reaching and throwing aids like poles should be kept on both sides of the pool. These items should remain stationary and not be misplaced through play activities.
  4. All pool and hot tub drains (suction outlets) must have a cover or grate that meets industry standards for suction fittings marked to indicate compliance with ANSI/ASME A112.19.8 2007. Check to see that these covers are not broken or in disrepair, and that they are anchored firmly over the drain openings.
  5. Install a pool alarm to detect accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water. While the alarm provides an immediate warning, it does not substitute for the barrier fences, door alarms and safety covers required by the code.
  6. Install either an automatic or manually operated, approved safety cover to completely block access to water in the pool, spa or hot tub. Never allow anyone to stand or play on a pool cover.
  7. Invest in swimming lessons and CPR training for your family and those that will frequent pools.
  8. Check for warning signs of an unsafe deck, including loose or wobbly railings or support beams, missing or loose screws that connect a deck to the house, corrosion, rot and cracks.

Grill Safety

  1. Place the barbeque grill away from siding, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. It is unsafe to use grills in a garage, porch or enclosed area that could trap carbon monoxide. Never grill on top of anything that can catch on fire. Do not store propane tanks in a garage.
  2. Do not add additional lighter fluid or other fuel to a lit grill fire, and never leave a grill unattended.
  3. Do not dispose used charcoal until it is completely cooled and extinguished.
  4. When grilling, have a fire extinguisher, a garden hose or at least 4 gallons of water close by in case of a fire.
  5. Keep children away from fires and grills. Establish a safety zone around the grill and instruct the children to remain outside of the zone. A chalk line works great for this purpose. Never leave the grill unattended.

More Information

Building Safety Month Flier – Backyard and Pool Safety (Download PDF)

Swimming Lessons – City of Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Department    573-339-6340

ABCs of Pool Safety –