Assemblyman Saladino Urges ‘Safety First’ When Swimming and Barbecuing This Summer

June 1, 2007
Assemblyman Joseph Saladino (Massapequa) wants everyone who will be enjoying their swimming pools and grills this summer to take a moment and think of safety first. Owning a swimming pool is terrific, but we cannot forget that they can be dangerous – especially for young children who may drown. Sadly, 300 children under age 5 die and 2,000 more children under age five visit hospital emergency rooms for submersion injuries every year.

“Pool parties and barbecuing make the hot days of this season so much fun. But, please don’t let your child’s excitement around the pool or your rush to grill lead to disaster,” said Assemblyman Saladino. “Simple safety steps concerning lighting your gas grill and properly supervising your children around the swimming pool can avoid catastrophe. It is so important to protect yourself and family from burns, injury and drowning, and by following simple safety precautions you can have an enjoyable and safe summer.”

Liquid petroleum gas or propane used in gas grills is highly flammable and each year about 30 people are injured as a result of gas grill fires and explosions. Many of these fires and explosions occur when consumers first use a grill left idle for a period of time or just after refilling and reattaching the grill's gas container. Charcoal grills produce carbon monoxide (CO) when burning. CO is a colorless, odorless gas that can accumulate to toxic levels in closed environments. Each year about 30 people die and 100 are injured as a result of CO fumes from charcoal grills and hibachis used inside.

To reduce your risk of accident or injury when using your grill this summer you should follow these simply safety points:

  • Never use your grill inside of homes, vehicles, tents, or campers even if ventilation is provided.
  • Check the tubes that lead into the burner for any blockage.
  • Check grill hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes, and leaks.
  • Replace scratched or nicked connectors, which can eventually leak gas.
  • Check for gas leaks, following the manufacturer's instructions, if you smell gas or when you reconnect the grill to the LP gas container.
  • Keep lit cigarettes, matches, or open flames away from a leaking grill.
  • Do not attempt to repair the tank valve or the appliance yourself. See an LP gas dealer or a qualified appliance repairperson.
  • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions that accompany the grill.

Many communities have enacted safety regulations governing residential in- and above-ground swimming pools. It is up to the homeowner to comply with local regulations governing requirements for properly installing fences, lighting, ladders, safety equipment and floatation devices.

By following these simple pool safety tips you and your family can have a safe and fun summer poolside:

  • Instruct caregivers and your children about any potential pool hazards.
  • Never leave a child unsupervised near a pool.
  • If a child is missing, check the pool first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
  • Do not allow a young child in the pool without an adult.
  • Do not consider young children to be drown proof because they have had swimming lessons.
  • Do not use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision.
  • Steps and ladders leading from the ground to the pool should be secured and locked, or removed when the pool is not in use.
  • Learn CPR.
  • Keep rescue equipment by the pool. Be sure a telephone is poolside with emergency numbers posted nearby.
  • Remove toys from in and around the pool when it is not in use. Toys can attract young children to the pool.
  • Never prop open the gate to a pool barrier.
  • Never use glass containers in or around pools.
  • Check all electrical wiring near pools for any exposed, damaged or frayed wires.