Decks are an excellent addition to any backyard. Whether you have a large property or a limited area, a deck makes the backyard more functional, inviting, and comfortable. When designing any outdoor living spaces, it’s important to keep the safety of your children and pets in mind. You can transform an otherwise unsafe deck into a child and pet-friendly space. Here are a few tips to make your deck safe.

Secure Railings to Make Your Deck Safe

Most decks are built high off the ground to offer a vantage point of the surrounding yard. While this makes for a great view, it can be unsafe for children and pets who have a greater chance of falling off. Even if the deck is only a short distance off the ground, it’s important to install secure railings. This not only clearly shows pets and kids where the deck ends, but it also keeps them from falling off. If you already have railings, make sure they are secure and fix them if they are not.

Check the Distance Between Slats

A well-designed and sturdy railing won’t keep children or pets from wandering off the deck if they can squeeze in between the slats. The space between slats should be less than 3 inches to prevent smaller children or pets from slipping through. While it might be more attractive to have slats with more space in between, you don’t want to sacrifice deck safety for appearance.

Look for Exposed Nails

When your kids or pets are running around on the deck, protruding nails can pose a serious risk and cause injuries. To make your deck safer, thoroughly inspect all surfaces for nails that might be sticking out. You can hammer them in further, cover them with a wood filler, or pull them out. Replace any nails you take out to maintain the structural integrity of your deck.

Make Your Deck Safe With a Child-Proof Gate

While secure railings can keep children and pets from falling off your deck, you’ll still need something to prevent them from exiting or entering the space on their own. Install a child-proof gate to make your deck safe. These gates are easy for adults to open, but they provide a safety barrier that keeps younger kids and pets from wandering in or out of the deck area.

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