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Pool safety tips for the summer

Tip of the week: Backyard pool

Safety tips for the summer

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are several ways to stay safe around backyard pools this summer:

1. Never leave a child unattended in or near water.

2. Teach children how to swim.

3. Teach children to stay away from drains.

4. Ensure all pools and spas — both in your backyard and any public pool you may visit — have compliant drain covers.

5. Install proper barriers, covers and alarms on and around your pool and spa.

6. Know how to perform CPR on children and adults.

Veggie gardening

What grows best in June

Urban Farmer recommends beans, corn, cucumbers and summer squash for a June planting in USDA zones 3-8, which cover most of the continental U.S. Beans can be planted directly in the ground from seeds as they are fast growing in warm soil and most varieties will give you a crop in as little as 35 days. Corn, cucumbers and summer squash can be grown from transplants found at your local nursery or gardening center. Just be sure to give whatever you grow plenty of water as the summer heats up.

Hurricane preparedness

How to strengthen your home for storms

The Atlantic hurricane season began on June 1, and there’s a lot you can do around your home to protect it from hurricanes and strong, windy storms.

If you plan to ride out the storm in your home, make sure it is in good repair and up to local hurricane building code specifications, says The National Weather Service. First, purchase the proper plywood, steel or aluminum panels in advance so you have them ready for boarding up your home’s windows and doors. Don’t wait until a storm is approaching as that’s when local hardware stores tend to sell out of these supplies.

Hurricanes bring heavy rains and flooding. Make sure your gutters are clean, clear and ready to direct heavy rainfall away from your home and prevent flooding.

Home maintenance

Bird nests can cause big problems

Not only are bird nests messy, but droppings, debris and dead baby birds can spread disease if handled by pets and small children. Also, due to federal or state laws protecting certain bird species, you can’t destroy or disturb most nests during the nesting season. But you can nest-proof your home, says, by installing dryer-vent screens, chimney caps or using sheet metal to seal openings in siding where birds tend to build nests.