Keep your yard safe no matter who shows up to play

When you build a tree fort, add a pool, or put in a swing set, your yard becomes a playground for your kids. But that also could make it attractive to neighbor kids and, even if they’re not invited, you could be liable for their injuries on your property.

Take these steps to protect your property and keep your kids and their friends — invited or not — safe.

Tree fort
  • Bolt the ladder down for safe entry.
  • Build adequate railings if there’s an open deck, porch, or bridge on the tree house.

Pool
  • Surround the pool with a fence or barrier on all sides, and install a self-closing, self-latching gate with a latch at least 54 inches from the ground.
  • Keep toys away from the pool when not in use. Toys could lure children toward the water, where they can easily fall in. See more pool safety tips.

Playground
  • Use a protective surface such as mulch, sand, or wood chips to cover the ground and reduce the risk of injury if children fall.
  • Set up your play set far enough from other obstacles, trees, or furniture in your yard — especially if it has a swing.

For any of these play areas at your home, regular maintenance is key. Check for loose or worn hardware, places that could pinch fingers, rusty metal, chipped paint, and splinters or decaying wood. You also should supervise your kids when they’re playing.

While these additions to your property typically are covered by your homeowners policy, they may require extra coverage. Talk to your independent insurance agent to make sure you’re protected.

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