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Money Fix: Summer-fun safety, liability tips

Before folks dive in, make sure they know

Before folks dive in, make sure they know how to swim. Photo Credit: istock istock

Summer is full of fun and festivities, but it can also bring costly mishaps -- you need more than sunblock. Here's how to protect yourself.

You are your brother's keeper. Throwing an extravagant party out back? Watch out for host liability. Guests who leave under the influence and get into a car accident could mean a costly lawsuit for you. "Consider hiring professional bartenders with instructions to stop serving guests who've had enough. Know the number of a local car service in case a guest can't safely drive home," advises Bob Welther, vice president of risk consulting at ACE Private Risk Services in Basking Ridge, N.J.

Police the pool. Before folks dive in, make sure they know how to swim. "All new swimmers should be accompanied by someone familiar with water lifesaving skills," says Jim Gustin, a property specialist with Travelers in Hartford. Maintain secure fencing and a locked entrance around the pool and deck to prevent access when supervision is unavailable. The area should have rope with lifesaving rings, a reaching pole or rescue hook.

"Toys" can be traps. Thousands of ER visits are associated with trampolines. Limit the number of people allowed on a trampoline and always supervise. Reduce risk by installing safety nets and other accessories. Also be mindful of dirt bikes, ATVs and personal watercraft. "Make sure your kids are properly trained and licensed and aware of the dangers of letting untrained friends operate them," says Welther.

As cautious as you are, stuff happens. Have adequate liability insurance.

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