Summer is known for the three Ss – sun, surf and swimming, but don’t forget the fourth one: safety
Every year, hundreds of Australians are seriously injured using items they believed to be safe, and some people die.
One reason is that the start of the warmer weather means people are digging out and using a range of products that may not have been used for months, and may pose risks of severe injuries if unsafe or used unsafely.
So although summer is a great time for fun in the sun, catching up with family and doing odd jobs around the home, it’s also a great time to think about safety.
To help with this, the ACCC has initiated an online safety campaign to get people thinking about how to ensure this summer is a safe one.
The campaign includes safety tips on a variety of products that are likely to be used over the warmer months, from aquatic toys and pool filters to vehicle jacks and blind and curtain cords. All tips are featured on Twitter (@ProductSafetyAU) and on the campaign website: www.productsafety.gov.au/safesummer.
Join the online campaign
You can join the campaign by tweeting your own favourite safety tips and hints for summer. Use the #safesummer hash tag in your tweets to ensure they are picked up. The best tips are retweeted and added to the SafeSummer online campaign site.
If you don’t have a Twitter account you can email your tip to email@example.com and the ACCC will upload it to the website and share it on Twitter.
If you’re planning to travel, start do-it-yourself (DIY) projects or participate in outdoor activities this summer, take the time to join the campaign or browse the Product Safety Australia website for safety tips.
Staying safe this summer
To help get you started, here are some key summer tips from the ACCC:
- Before using your pool or spa this summer, organise an expert to check that your filters and outlets are safe.
- Children can drown if their aquatic toy fails or if they don’t use it properly. Always follow manufacturers’ age and weight recommendations, as some flotation toys and aids may not be able to support the weight of an older child.
- Secure any loose or looped curtain or blind cords – don’t leave them hanging down. If you have young children and are staying at a rental property or a hotel, ask management to secure them safely. Since the early 1990s, at least 15 children in Australia have died when a blind cord or chain strangled them. Don’t let your child be the next statistic.
- If you’re planning DIY vehicle maintenance, never get under a car supported by a jack. Use vehicle support stands or ramps for adequate support (see breakout box this page).
- On average 19 Australians — mainly men — die each year after falling from a ladder. If you’re gardening or cleaning outside, never use a ladder if you are alone and unable to get assistance if you have an accident.
- Before using your trampoline, check the mats, springs and frame. Don’t use it if you see rips or splits – hundreds of Australian children break bones each year after falling from trampolines.
- When using elastic luggage straps, avoid stretching them too far. They can rebound and cause serious injuries, particularly to the eyes.
If you have an iPhone, download the free Recalls Australia application and stay on top of what’s being recalled to ensure you’re not using or buying unsafe products.