Dock Safety 101

November 2021 Multimedia ShoreMaster

Boating season is beginning, and it’s the ideal time to get your dock installed. As you prepare to spend time on the water and enjoy the sunshine and warm weather, it’s even more critical to prepare for the worst-case scenarios. Even if you’re not in the water or on your boat, it’s possible to end up in unsafe situations that can cause damage, injuries, or fines. Keep everyone safe by following some dock safety tips.

Teach Kids About Water Safety

Children are likely excited for waterfront adventures now that winter is over. Fun is important, but safety is even more important, even if your water isn’t very deep. If you’re in charge of kids this boating season, teach them your water safety rules (and if they’re a little older, talking about drowning statistics might help the lessons sink in). Kids should get swimming lessons once they’re ready and should at least be able to tread water, turn in circles, and properly exit the water. Kids shouldn’t be left without adult supervision—avoid being distracted and keep them in arm’s reach. Everyone, regardless of age, must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket that’s appropriate for the activity and properly fitted.

Meanwhile, you should be prepared to keep your kids safe. Make, stick with, and model your water safety rules for the children. Install safety railings on your dock to help prevent falls and stay balanced, especially when the weather takes a turn for the worse. Find a CPR course online through the American Red Cross so that you can take immediate action to keep anyone on the water safe.

Inspect Your Dock, Lift, and Craft 

Look over your dock whenever you can, not just when you’re getting it out for the season. Keep the area clear of debris and other objects that could be a slip or trip hazards, and consider adding lights to help with visibility. Inspect your cables, rigging, ropes, and string for any potential risks: don’t leave them exposed, make sure they’re clear of dirt and debris, and check for weak spots to avoid breakdowns or injuries. They might even conduct electricity if they’re exposed to a circuit, so if your dock has electrical components, call in an electrical technician to look over the wiring and lighting for any risks. Keeping an eye on problems before they become more significant is crucial to staying safe on the water. 

Coverage is Key

Literal and figurative coverage that is.

A canopy cover is a great feature to have with a boat dock and lift. The cover will help keep your boat safe from salt, heavy rain, hail, and other debris that could hit it while it’s out of the water, which will keep your boat durable and beautiful. It also makes for easier and safer boarding because your lift won’t be covered in tripping or slipping hazards.

You should also make sure that your insurance coverage is up to date. Stay up to date with local dock and boat regulations and check with your insurance company to see what your policy covers. Check particularly on your dock coverage to help you avoid claims.

Thinking about the bad things that could happen on the water isn’t fun, but accidents are worse. Being prepared for the worst helps you make the best of your time on the water, so do everything you can to stay safe this season!

For more information:

ShoreMaster, LLC
1025 International Drive
Fergus Falls, MN 56537

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