Ideas to Make Your Garden Shed Unique

It?s time to think about spring home improvement projects to beautify your home for summer.

 garden-shed

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jollyroberts

 

If you?re thinking about adding to your garden or improving it, a great way to dress up or create new focal points by adding a garden shed. Other than the small structure holding all your gardening tools, it can become a showpiece. It doesn?t take much time or money to create anything from a cute dollhouse or an eye-catching central point.?

By the addition of windows, window flower boxes and shrubbery, a garden shed can begin to look more elaborate. Go rustic by planting a climbing vine to cover part of your shed; it?ll add some country charm. To give your shed more class, use tastefully colored paints to create a very enchanting cottage.

Shed-Flower-boxes

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/24069019@N00


If you don?t want to put too much work into a shed you already have, a splash of paint can dress it up. With an earthy red and blue or green highlighted trim and a greenish yellow door, you can make it energetic or toned down. A new coat of paint can always create a new look without breaking the bank.? If you are the artistic type, start with a beige building and paint on vines or floral decorations. But if you don?t have the knack for free-hand painting, you can always use stencils and get the same result.

Adding a lean-to with inside access for a small greenhouse will make a garden shed both elegant and functional for your delicate plants. Or, if you organize the contents of the shed, your garden shed can also double as a playhouse for your kids.

Lean-to-garden-shed

Photo credit:
Found on sashanunez2ag.blogspot.com

Not only can a garden shed be a versatile and practical building but also can create an ambiance encompassing your gardens. Best of all, it does not have to cost a bundle!

4 Food Safety Tips

Radishes

Although a great number of people are becoming concerned about their health and appearance and try to eat healthy. Admittedly, there is an abundance of foods at the supermarkets that are said to be organic and consequently good for your body but the truth is that we still need to be careful. Even if their products have gone thorough inspections by the authorities and they were neatly stored in accordance with all safety and health standards, you should be mindful about particular foods that need preparation. Here are four tips when preparing food for yourself and your family.

1. Clean Produce

Here is the golden rule called thorough cleaning. As far as the fruits and vegetables are concerned, most consumers think that putting them under cold running water for a couple of seconds but that may not be enough. Every fruit should be rinsed with warm water for more than a minute. If the fruits have been imported from another country they may have been treated with some chemicals in order to avoid damage and preserve their initial condition. Even if you picked up your fruits and vegetables from the ?organic? shelf, do wash them carefully. The probability to be clean of any harmful substances is really slim.

2. Storage

The proper food storage is another important factor in food safety. As soon as you check out at the supermarket, the responsibility for appropriate storage of the food is yours. Meat, for example, can be really troublesome. If the store where you shop is a bit of a drive, you may want to bring a few insulated bags to transport your cold or frozen items back home. Be sure to use the items before the expiration date or place in the freezer for future use.

3. Clean surfaces

When preparing meals it is important to make sure your hands are absolutely clean. Washing your hands after coughing, smoking, sneezing, touching dirty surfaces such as the trash bin lid, is obligatory when preparing any kind of food.? As soon as you are done cutting the meat, put your cutting utensils under hot running water and vigorously scrub them with an appropriate detergent.

4. Preparation

Stick to the instructions at the recipe books and cook the meal as long as directed in order to make sure all the bacteria is eliminated. It is a well-known fact that a great number of foods contain bacteria before the thermal processing such as chicken.

Under no circumstances should you keep raw and cooked food together to avoid cross contamination

Don’t forget that your health should be your top priority. By handling and preparing your food with caution, you can greatly reduce the risk of any contaminates.

Author Bio: Connie Jameson loves to write about health and hygiene. As a leader of London cleaning services team she has to learn and read about new cleaning technologies.

5 Ways Running Can Relieve Stress

trackWe all experience stress in our day to day lives. It?s normal. If left unchecked, however, stress can cause a number of problems, including depression, fatigue, and headaches. Cardiovascular exercises like running have been shown to be some of the most effective, if not the most effective, ways of relieving stress. As little as 20 minutes of running in fitness clothing has been scientifically proven to reduce stress levels in the body, leaving both body and mind feeling

Kinesiologists, neurologists, and scientists have been spent thousands of hours exploring how exercises like running help to relieve stress. Through their research, they?ve discovered a number of ways that running helps to reduce stress levels in both the body and mind. This article will list 5 ways running can relieve stress.

1. Running releases endorphins
Endorphins are nature?s happy drug. When released into the brain, they make you feel happy, joyful, and excited about life.When running, the brain triggers the body to release large amounts of endorphins to counteract feelings of muscle tiredness and exhaustion. These endorphins, if released in large enough amounts, can trigger a ?runner?s high?, making you feel happy and elated while reducing feelings of stress.

2. Running reduces stress hormone levels in the body
Stress causes the release of cortisol and other stress hormones into the body.
In small amounts, these stress hormones provide a number of useful health benefits, including increased energy, improved cognitive function, and improved pain suppression. In large amounts, however, they hinder more than they help. They impair thyroid function, increase blood pressure, and cause feelings of anxiety and despair. Running helps to purge the body of excess amounts of stress hormones. It signals the brain to stop releasing these hormones, thereby reducing stress levels overall.

3. Running improves sleep quality
Scientific research has found that the more active your body is during the day, the better your quality of sleep will be at night. Better quality of sleep comes with a number of important health benefits, including lower blood pressure, reduced amounts of stress hormones in the body, and a more relaxed body and mind. These health benefits, in turn, help to reduce stress levels, leaving the body feeling more refreshed and energized in the mornings.

4. Running relaxes the mind
Running gives you some alone time with your thoughts. It gives you time to connect with your mind and forget the difficulties that plague your life. This meditative effect has been shown to calm the mind, massively reducing levels of stress hormones in the body.

5. Running strengthens the mind against difficulty and adversity
Running is not easy. It?s mentally and physically demanding, and it requires a lot of mental fortitude to do well. Running trains your mind to better deal with adversity and difficult conditions. It makes your mind stronger and less resistant to life?s daily pressures, which reduces the amount of stress hormones being released into the body.

Summing Up
Running has been scientifically proven to be one of the best ways to combat stress. If you find yourself feeling stressed in your day to day life, start running a few times a week. It might just turn things around.

Aimee works in the city in a highly stressful job. She loves running and cannot emphasize enough the fantastic mental and physical benefits of exercise.

Spring Cleaning: Declutter Your Finances

clean-up-financesAs spring prepares to be sprung, it’s time to rid our lives of the gnarly winter blues that have accumulated over the last year. Clear out the dust bunnies from under the bed, rotate your closet so the warm weather clothes are near the front, and give the pup a haircut.

All of those things will help you get back into the swing of things and refresh everything. But on top of all that, it’s always good to give your finances a once-over as well. After all, money issues are a source of stress for many people. Here are a few ways to declutter your finances and reduce some of the headaches that can come along with them.

Declutter Your Papers

Let’s face it; it was a terrible winter. No one blames you for choosing to shovel your sidewalk instead of organizing your mail and prioritizing hot cocoa over balancing your checkbook. Now that it’s all behind you, you can focus on organizing your sensitive documents. If all your pay stubs and bills are filling up your junk drawer, go through them and put them all in a centralized place.

It very well may take a few sittings, but once you’ve categorized everything, managing your monthly budget shouldn’t seem like such a chore. Knowing where all your resources are will make paying your monthly bills seamless.

Purge the Extras

When you clean out your refrigerator, you probably pull out anything that looks questionable, wipe the inside of it out, and start with a crisp, clean slate. Indeed, one of the most effective parts of any spring cleaning regimen is purging your home of everything you don’t need or don’t use. Sure, picking up a nasty, moldy orange isn’t exactly a pleasant idea, but doing so is much needed if you want to clean. The same can essentially be said about how you approach your finances.

So start purging. Do you actually use your gym membership? If not, drop it or switch to a cheaper one closer to home that you’ll be more likely to use. Do you watch TV all the time, or did your favorite shows end? If you can swing it, drop it until next season.

Mop up the Rest

Of course, as with any spring cleaning binge, you’ll need to mop up the mess. Look for ways you’ll be able to to cut corners when it comes to your expenses:

  • Entertainment?- Do you really need that super mega huge cable package, or can you make do with basic cable? Or better yet, do without and subscribe to Hulu or Netflix instead. You can find most shows online these days anyway, and you’ll probably end up being more productive with less TV to watch.
  • Utility bills?- See if your utility companies have a budget billing program, and enroll in it. You’ll end up paying for what you use, but your bill will be the same each month.
  • Eating out and groceries?- Get to know your inner?couponer especially when it comes to groceries. You’ll probably be surprised how much money you can save by simply using coupons. There’s nothing ‘extreme’ about it; just subscribe to your local newspaper and start clipping.

Now, more than ever, is a good time to reevaluate your mobile plan too.?T-Mobile?is really shaking things up?in the wireless world?by changing some of its most archaic policies. See if any of these changes can benefit you and your financial situation and consider switching if it works for you and your family. There’s no reason to pay more for something that you can get for less.

Polish Your Credit

Once you’ve pulled all the nastiness out of your budget, you can really make it shine. You should be able to spot some questionable issues that could be resolved. Are you nearing your credit limit on your credit card? Move some money around so you can make a payment to pull the balance away from the limit.

If that’s not an option, consider opening another card to spread the balance out a bit. Contrary to popular belief, it’s better to have two cards nowhere near their limit than it is to have one card that’s maxed out all the time. The idea is to keep your utilization ratio (the credit you’re using vs. how much is available to you) as low as you can. Find a card that offers a special rate on balance transfers to save on interest charges while you’re at it.

Spring cleaning doesn’t have to stop with the dirt on the kitchen floor. Take a look at every aspect of your life, and simplify wherever you can. What’s the most pressing thing on your spring cleaning to-do list?

The Story Behind Your Favorite Gems

Gem-StonesColored gemstones are more than just pretty to look at. Some people have even assigned meanings and characteristics. If you believe in that sort of thing, you may want to check out your jewelry box and see what each piece says about you. Look at your most favorite gemstones. Does it surprise you that they match your personality so well? Or is it the exact opposite? Take a look at the meanings behind the most popular stones on the market and see how they relate to you.

Diamond

It?s most common appearance is of the colorless kind, yet can also be found sporting hues of pink, green, blue, brown, and even black. Once believed to be ?splinters of stars fallen to earth from the heavens? by the ancient Greeks, the diamond symbolizes love, beauty, and purity. It is thought to bring clarity of thought and has been used in intellectual pursuits as well as meditation.

Emeralds

These gems are beautiful green stones that are just as at home in a silver or platinum setting as they are in gold. It has been said it was the sacred stone favored by the goddess Venus and is associated with female fertility. Some say emeralds actually promote psychic insight and can help with memory and focus.

Sapphire

You might not realize that they are more than just blue stones. They also come in pink, green, and colorless varieties. Popular among those of the royal bloodline, they are associated with calmness, truthfulness, and devotion. They were called ?celestial gems? by the ancients due to the varying colors matching the sky at any given time during the day from sunrise to sunset.

Pearl

Pearls have often been associated with the moon thanks to their moonlike appearance. They come in a variety of colors and each has its own characteristic. White pearls, not surprisingly, give an air of purity and innocence while gold pearls are associated with prosperity and wealth, much like the precious metal gold.

Peridot

These gems are a stunning neon or olive green stone that has been favored by many over the years. There are those that think some of Cleopatra?s emeralds were actually peridot. Napoleon even gave his mistress, Josephine, one as a token of his love and devotion. They are thought to help with sleep, strength, and positive attitude.

Bloodstone

This stone has been called the ?Hero?s Gemstone? as it is thought to provide the wearers with courage and help them to overcome difficulties. Athletes in Greece and Rome wore them as they thought they would help increase their endurance.

So, now that you?ve seen a little insight into the meanings and characteristics of some of the more popular gemstones, do they coincide with any of your own principles or personality? If not, it really doesn?t matter. If you truly love the stones you?ve chosen, just assign your own meaning to them and continue to wear them with pride. Just check out this online jewelry store and find a piece that speaks to you.

Growing a Garden: Six Steps to Eating Your Own Fruits and Vegetables

With all the interest in healthier eating, many people want to grow?fruits and vegetables in their own backyards. Having your own supply at your fingertips can help you save money and increase your cooking options; you can also make tending your garden into a family activity. Although it may sound daunting, starting your own garden isn’t that difficult.

Here are some good vegetable and fruit selections for the first-time backyard gardener.

Salad Greens

LettuceGrowing your own salad greens like lettuce, spinach, arugula, mustard green, or kale doesn’t require a garden plot; you can grow a nice selection of greens in containers, pots, or window boxes, too. Using a quality potting mix is important. Greens grow well from seeds, and many garden shops offer seeds with a mix of greens for variety. Most will require some fertilizer when the plants are 4-6 inches tall. Since these are rapid-growing plants, you can often start harvesting leaves a few weeks after planting. Salad green plants can produce from spring until fall, giving your tasty salads for most of the year.

Tomatoes

New gardeners love tomatoes, but they’re popular with gardeners in many places where the citizens are health-conscious like Rancho Mission Viejo. There are many versions of slicing tomatoes and cherry tomatoes to choose from. Tomato plants can grow in containers like salad greens or in your yard but do need full sunlight and plenty of water. Seeds or transplants both can be used to start your tomatoes; as they grow, fertilizer, mulching, and staking can help your tomatoes reach their potential.

To control the plant growth and lower the risk of fungus, you’ll need to prune lower leaves and branches. The ripe tomatoes should be harvested twice a week during warm weather.

Radishes

Radish A less common choice for your first garden would be the radish. These root vegetables are easy to grow and grow very fast in a few weeks. These can grow in containers or in a garden plot; however, they do thrive in cool seasons so you should plant them in the spring and fall. A lot of sunlight is key for these plants. Without it, they’ll grow bigger leaves and fewer vegetables. Radishes will deteriorate if they’re harvested in a timely fashion; you can also take the radish greens for salads, as well.

Green Beans

Green beans are also popular for the first-time gardener. Some beans grow as vines and will need a support system while others may grow as a bush. Green beans also grow during the warm months and need full sunlight and significant amounts of water. When the plants bloom, there will be bees and other insects to help with the pollination. During this time, you should avoid using too much pesticide that might interfere with this process. Green beans can be harvested between 50 and 80 days after planting.

Strawberries

StrawberriesAnother fruit that can work for the home gardener is the?strawberry. ?These are spreading plants that send out runners that can take up a lot of space. However, you can grow them in confined spaces like hanging containers, boxes, or pots. No matter where you plant them, you have to make sure they can get full sunlight. If you use a portable container, you can move the plant around to maximize sun exposure or protect from harsh weather. Strawberry plants can produce fruit for several years.

Herbs

Safe choices for your first garden are herbs like basil, rosemary, coriander, or dill. Many herbs are easy to grow and can be used in a number of dishes and even with your new vegetables. Herbs can be grown in pots, containers, or in your garden plot. Most herbs need to be in areas with good drainage because they don’t grow well in wet soil. You can plant several types of herbs in the same garden; however, some like mint will overgrow your garden.

Of course, your location will influence what items you can grow. But if you take care of your growing garden ? no matter your location ? you can be eating as well as any community. To improve your health and give your kitchen a kick, start your own garden.

Buying the Best Computer for Your Family’s Needs: A Brief Guide

Shop-for-a-computerWith all of the options available today, buying a computer can seem like an overwhelming purchase that you’re never 100 percent sure of. This is especially true if you’re buying one that has to meet the wants and needs of everyone in the family household. Whether it’s your children playing video games or you reading the news and checking your email, there’s a computer out there to satisfy your preferences.

With that said, here’s how to buy the best computer for your family.

Decide Between a Mac and a PC

Although most computers are similar on the inside, the debate between which one is superior continues?and likely will for years to come. If you’re thinking about your family and your budget, though, it’s good to know that Macs generally cost more (they use quality materials and include a state-of-the-art design).

With that said, Mac only carries five computer lines including the Macbook Air, the Mac mini, the Macbook Pro, the Mac Pro, and the iMac. PCs, however, come in a variety of shapes and sizes for a cheaper price. With more options to consider without the hefty price tag, PC could very well be the way to go.

OK, so deciding which to choose isn’t exactly easy, so check out this article?that dives more in depth when comparing the two popular computer brands. Doing so will help you save time and anguish.

Decide Between a Desktop and a Laptop

Generally speaking, a desktop computer will feature higher performance specs than a laptop within the same price range. If you have kids that are into high-end gaming, or high-performance photo or video editing software, then you’ll likely want to opt for a desktop computer.

Although your need for speed may attract you to buy a desktop computer, especially if it’s a computer that the family will be using in the household, you might want to consider a laptop for portability purposes and if your everyday requirements are minimal (like checking email or surfing the web). Not only that, but you can find laptop deals at just about any store you choose to shop at for your computer needs.

Here’s another informative article that’ll give you further insight about whether to buy a desktop or a laptop.

Decide Which Software You Want Included

Another feature to consider when purchasing a computer is what kind of programs it comes with, without you having to buy additional software. Here are some standard apps that newer Macs and PCs offer their consumers.

Mac:

  • Safari. The standard Internet browser that comes with Macs.
  • Mail. Works with iCloud, Yahoo!, Gmail, AOL, and Microsoft Exchange.
  • Mac App Store. What to purchase an additional app? This is where you’ll do it.
  • iPhoto. Offers everything you need to do everything you want with your pictures.
  • iMovie. Edit and share your videos.
  • GarageBand. If someone in your household has an ear for music, GarageBand can help them create it.
  • Pages. This is essentially Mac’s version of Word.
  • Numbers. This is essentially Mac’s version of Excel.

Click here for a more comprehensive list of built-in apps found on new Macs.

PC:

  • Internet Explorer. Yes, Windows is still unfortunately using this browser by default.
  • Mail. Works with Hotmail, Outlook, and Gmail.
  • The Windows Store. If you want or need additional apps, this is where you’ll go.
  • Photos. Using this app, you can view photos stored in your SkyDrive, Flickr, or Facebook account online.
  • Xbox Video. Xbox-branded video app lets you play your own videos.
  • Microsoft Suite. The industry standard when it comes to creating documents and crunching numbers.

Click here for a more comprehensive list of built-in app found on new PCs.

Decide on the Specifications You Want

Deciding which specs you want your computer to have depends on what you want to use it for. There’s a range of factors to consider that’ll influence how fast your want your computer to run and how much memory it has. The more you feed it, the larger the price tag. Here’s a great resource for crafting your perfect computer spec list.

Decide on Warranties and Accessories

Once you’ve picked out a computer that’ll fit your family’s needs, you’ll likely either browse through the numerous accessories you can buy for it or approach the cash register and get asked whether you want a warranty. This is all subjective, but here are some things to keep in mind when deciding whether to fork out the money for a warranty.

With all this in mind, what kind of computer do you plan on purchasing?

A Busy Mom’s Guide to Less-Stressful Life

Busy-momThe stress and anxiety brought about by the rigors of modern living can definitely take away every ounce of energy that we have. Not to mention the struggle to achieve peace of mind every day and every night. If you are a mom who is constantly having bouts with the adverse effects of stress, read further for some helpful tips.

Rise and shine early

Nothing beats the feeling of waking up to the silence of early morning. This is the best part of the day to work on tasks that demand focus and crucial decision making skills. Remember that majority of successful people have the habit of waking up early. They always make sure that they are up right before anyone else in the house does. This is because they want to take advantage of the quietness, fresh air as well as fresh mind to make certain plans and set the mood right for the rest f the

Find time for a short retreat

A retreat does not have to be done the entire day. You can also do this as soon as you wake up in the morning or you may do this at the end of the day or before your bedtime. Make sure that everybody else in the house has already been locked in their respective rooms to ensure that there will be nobody who will disturb you. A short retreat may mean performing some deep breathing exercises for a couple of minutes or practice some Yoga moves. This will help you achieve a more balanced life as you try to purge your thoughts of any negative things on a daily basis.

Find time to be disconnected

The emergence of iPods, iPads, tablets, smartphones and other gadgets has made almost every home these days a noisy one. It has become so hard for some mothers to find some quiet time. This is why you have to set a schedule everyday to unplug yourself from all the noise of these modern day gadgets. If you feel like you are all too stressed out, then do not watch the news. Turn off your smartphone and stay away from your PC. Today, stressed mothers not only need an exercise but they also need that thing called ?gadget-fast? in which all the gadgets will be turned off for a few hours during a specific time of the day to be able to de-stress.

Avoid procrastinating

If you feel like you do not have enough motivation to do something important, then stop looking for motivations. Just do things in a small yet progressive manner. This way, you will find yourself progressing from one task to another even if you do not feel like doing it. Our micro-actions will serve as the best antidote for procrastination. It keeps us moving despite lacking the motivation to do so. Remember that as a parent you do not need to have motivation in everything that you do. It may seem sad but there are indeed times when you need to do things because you need to and find motivation in the thought that you are actually making things happen little by little.

Learn to adapt

Are you the type of mother who easily breaks down at the thought that dinner is not yet ready at 7 o?clock? Well, if you find your little kids yelling at each other at this hour of the day, the best thing to do in that particular moment is to meddle in your children?s issues instead of frantically making yourself some dinner only to find that your kids are not yet ready any way to have dinner. Learn to adapt yourself to the inevitability of the things around you and stop sweating the small stuff.

Once you have done all the above mentioned tips do not forget to smile and reward yourself with a treat to a few hours of doing nothing but just listening to your favorite music. Life is so beautiful to waste it all on being stressed with the daily concerns of parenting.

Ryan Rivera is a parent, a writer and a lover of healthy lifestyle habits. He has this passion for sharing his tips and tricks to all of his readers to help them enjoy de-stress on a daily basis and enjoy life to the fullest. Please check out his Calm Clinic Twitter account for more helpful tips.

Top 10 Candle Uses You’ve Never Heard Of

candleCandles have been a part of society practically since the dawn of civilization. In the past, they were used to light homes, but most people only use them now for adding a nice decorative touch to a room. However, they still serve several great purposes. In fact, candles have some very surprising uses. Here are ten candle uses you may not have ever considered.

1. Make Labels Watertight

If you?re out of clear plastic tape and need to mail a package, reach for a candle to make the label watertight. Simply run the candle over the label and the transferred wax will protect the ink and prevent smearing.

2. Spill-Proof Recipe Cards

You need your recipe cards out when cooking, but you don?t want them to get ruined. Make them spill-proof by rubbing a candle over the recipe. Splashes and spills will wipe right off the dried wax.

3. Eliminate Odors

As candles burn, the flame can burn off fumes and odors in the home. It won?t get rid of the source of unpleasant scents, but it will make your home smell nice again. Consider putting a candle in the bathroom. Use one in the kitchen if you?re burned a dish. Smokers often burn candles to help with the cigarette smell. You can even use a candle when you?re cutting onions to stop the onion fumes from making you cry.

4. Smooth Operating Wood Frames

Wood windows and dressers that stick are a serious inconvenience, but a candle has the cure you need. Rub the candle over the areas where the wood pieces move. The wax coats the wood and allows it to move smoothly. This is an age-old method for dealing with sticking drawers, and it still works.

5. Invisible Ink Projects

Let the kids have some fun with secret messages. Using a white candle, they can draw an image or message. The recipient can then cover the paper with watercolor paint to reveal the hidden information.

6. Banish Wood Dents

Dents in wood furniture are an eyesore, but you don?t have to live with them. Rub the wax candle over the dent and let the wax fill in the space. It effectively fills the dent without any stripping, sanding or refinishing required.

7. Fix Shoelaces

Shoelaces that are missing the plastic caps on the ends will continue to fray and come apart. However, you can stop the trend by dipping the ends in melted candle wax. You?ll have to repeat this process as the wax wears off over time, but it?s cheaper and faster than replacing the laces.

8. Zipper Repair

If you have a zipper that?s sticking, then a candle can help you. Metal zippers can start to bind, but all they really need is some lubrication. With the zipper open, rub the candle along the teeth and then see how much more smoothly it operates.

9. Stop the Squeak

If you have a squeaky door, then you might reach for an oily lubrication. However, a candle will work just as well. All you have to do is rub the candle over the hinges to coat the surface and quiet the noise.

10. Hold Pens and Pencils

If you have a decorative candle that needs a more functional use, turn it into a pen and pencil holder. Just put holes in the sides and along the top to easily slide your pens into place.?Candles are still an important part of our lives. While they aren?t typically used as task lighting anymore, they?re still an important tool that can be used in several other ways. From holding pens and fixing zippers to invisible ink and waterproofing labels, you?ll find that candles can help you out around the home in several ways.

Kathy Cameron is a work from home mom. She often writes about great DIY home tips. Here are her tips about various use of candles.

Get Ready Before Spring Hits: 3 Steps for Homeowners to Keep Pool Areas Safe

Fenced- poolThere are many safety precautions homeowners need to consider when they decide to install a pool in their yards. Following a few simple steps can help keep children, neighbors and guests safe around the swimming pool all year round.

1. Pool fence installation
Hiring a fence company to install a fence in the yard is one of the first steps homeowners should take to keep everyone safe. There are several styles of fences that homeowners can choose from, including aluminum, vinyl and wood.

Aluminum fences are often the most popular for pool fence installations because of the durability of these fences. Aluminum does not rust, making it the ideal style to be near water. They are also very customizable, giving homeowners the chance to have the fence constructed to the specifications they need to meet to have their pools approved.

2. Follow the law
Homeowners must receive the proper permits and approval from the appropriate authorities in order to have their pools and fences approved as being safe. There are no laws that state the different types of pool requirements homeowners have to meet throughout the nation; however, there are specific laws set by states, towns, counties and groups geared at keeping people safe.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is one of the groups that work toward promoting pool safety. According to this group?s website, a pool fence should be installed at a height of at least four feet around the pool. The fence should be high enough to keep children from climbing over it, and it must not have any openings. This is so that children cannot get through to the pool while unattended.

There are also laws about the types of gates that homeowners install on their fences, which is another preventative measure to keep more people safe. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the standards for pool gates include that they must open out from the pool and close on their own, with the latch installed high enough to be out of the reach of children.

Although there are not set standards across the board for every state, town or county in America in regard to pool fences and pool installations, families can take the initiative to install a pool fence as a preventative safety measure.

3. Prepare the pool area for children
There are many ways to prepare a pool area to keep it safer, especially for children. If the pool is an in ground pool, installing a no-slip surface around the perimeter of the pool can help children, neighbors and guests from falling when near the pool.

Families can also make a set of ?pool rules? to help remind children of ways to stay safe when in or near the pool. Examples of rules can be things such as: no swimming without an adult present, no running near the pool, no diving into shallow water, and so on.
Safety materials should also be kept near the pool. First aid kits, life vests and other rescue materials should be on-hand and close to the pool area, just in case of an emergency. It is always better for homeowners to be prepared.

By following these three simple steps, homeowners can help keep their families, neighbors and friends safe when near the pool area.

Alex is the owner of Challenger Fence Inc., one of the fence companies in NJ that is concerned with keeping people safe near pools. At Challenger Fence Inc., families can call for pool fence installation services to help start the process keeping people safe around their pools.