Tips and Insights for Summer Hosting
It’s finally everyone’s favorite time of year in New England — summer! There’s nothing quite like a backyard BBQ or pool party with friends and family this time of year. Here at Bearingstar Insurance, we love enjoying our backyards with loved ones, which is why we’ve put together the following collection of tips, insights, and insurance considerations to help you make sure your summer get togethers go off without a hitch!
1. Do You Have A Swimming Pool?
Taking a dip can be a great way to cool off in the summer heat. Swimming pools, however, add a great deal of risk to your property. Before you host friends and family by the pool this summer, ensure that you have the proper coverage for your swimming pool through your home insurance policy — your local Bearingstar Insurance agent can help you confirm this.
If you don’t already have one, an umbrella insurance policy is also a great coverage to consider for homeowners with a pool. This additional policy offers extra liability coverage that would extend the liability limits offered by your home insurance policy. If someone is injured while using your pool, you could be held liable for any medical expenses or potential legal fees, which may exceed the limits of your homeowners policy. If these limits are exceeded, your umbrella coverage would kick-in, so you wouldn’t have to pay these bills out of pocket yourself.
Lastly, all pool owners should have a clear set of rules for their pool — consider things like no running or diving. Here are a few other safety considerations to keep in mind:
- There should always be adult supervision if anyone is in the pool.
- Your pool should have a gate with a lock to keep pets and children out when there is no adult supervision.
- Consider installing an alarm to alert you when someone enters your pool gate.
- Keep your pool deck clear of toys and clutter that could increase the risk of a trip and fall.
- Keep a first aid kit close to your pool. You should also have a phone available in case of an emergency.
2. Take Responsibility For Your Guests
Did you know that if you are serving alcohol at a party in your home, you could be held liable for accidents your guests get in even after they leave your home? As a host, it’s up to you to ensure your guests stay safe, which you can do by considering the following insights:
- Make sure all your guests have a designated driver who has not been drinking to take them home.
- If one of your guests has had too much to drink, offer to let them stay over at your home or call them a cab so they are not driving at the end of the night.
- Make sure to offer plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverage options for all of your guests.
- Keep an eye on your guests — if you feel someone has had too much to drink, you should feel comfortable cutting them off.
- Consider hiring a professional bartender for bigger events. They are trained to know when to cut someone off.
3. Make Your Home And Yard A Safe Space
Slips and falls can result in a serious injury. Here are a few tips to safeguard your home and minimize this risk:
- Ensure that your backyard, kitchen, patio, pool, and other hosting areas are clear of clutter and easy to maneuver.
- After a long winter, cracks can form in your driveway and walkways. Address any large gaps or cracks to minimize your trip risk.
- If you have a patio or deck, inspect it to make sure there are no loose boards or nails hanging out.
- Check outdoor staircases to ensure railings are secure and steps are even. Make sure to have adequate lighting around stairs as well.
4. Grill and Fire Safety
Grills and fire pits are often essential to any backyard get togethers — but they also pose a serious fire risk if mismanaged. Here are a few tips for minimizing the risk of fire in your backyard.
- Create a designated grilling area. Keep pets and children out of this area.
- Clean your grill regularly.
- Always be sure your grill is off when not in use.
- Never place a fire pit directly on grass or a wooden surface — use stone or gravel to surround your fire pit.
- Never leave a fire pit unattended.
- Ensure your fire is totally extinguished before leaving your fire pit for the night.
- Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from any structures, like your home, a porch, or a shed.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, firefighters respond to an average of 9,600 home fires involving grills every year. So before you plan the menu for your next barbeque, take a moment to brush up on these important safety tips in our Grilling Safety Guide.
5. Check In On Your Insurance
Your local Bearingstar Insurance agent is here to guide you — check in with your local agent to make sure you understand exactly what is covered under your policies. As mentioned before, consider extending the limits of your home insurance policy with umbrella coverage, especially if you regularly host guests in the summer months.
Have more questions about summer hosting and the proper insurance coverage? For more advice on protecting yourself and your home this summer, connect with a local Bearingstar Insurance agent today: http://bit.ly/2GvLIQX