Life in sunny Florida. It is as picture perfect as you’d expect. Intercoastal waters and the incomparable Gulf of Mexico; not to mention all the lakes that afford even more of us the good fortune of enjoying our waterfront homes. Once you live on the water, you are unlikely to ever wish to live anywhere that doesn’t boast a view that can be both serene, yet fraught with the happy activity of a boater’s life.
- Like anything that’s beautiful, there is a degree of associated maintenance. When it comes to water, that maintenance extends to an understanding of safety, for yourself and the structures which are extensions of your property: docks and decks. There exists a wide variety of course of these marine structures: wood, vinyl, composite; fixed or floating. They each carry their own safety list.
- For families with children, a wonderful selection of removable fence barriers may be affixed around a dock’s perimeter to provide an extra layer of security. Because many are made of a commercial mesh and offer a transparent effect, the safety fence does not obstruct the water views. The peace of mind is well worth it, whether to protect your own family or your neighbor’s children.
- But even for adults, keeping your dock maintenance current is key. Adults can just as easily fall heir to a slip and fall in the presence of loose or rotting boards, decking slanted due to posts not firmly rooted, or fastener bolts that are the wrong type or that have been compromised by rust. Even the use of an improper sealant coating the dock’s surface is an accident waiting to happen. Despite Florida’s mild temperatures, early morning fog and dew can create slippery surfaces.
- Children themselves should learn early to respect the water and understand the potential danger it presents. Swimming lessons are of course a must, but learning to observe rules and read signage posted about water conditions is the absolute priority for life at the water’s edge. Even participating in boating safety classes reinforces that commitment to safety. Educating children on diving and the risks associated with running where they shouldn’t will go a long way. Additionally, teaching children the importance of maintaining structures like docks and seawalls serves to prepare them for a mature look at water safety.
- And finally, remaining compliant with the laws governing your township or community’s subdivision makes for a less complicated (and safer!) life. Avoiding fines, etc. is one thing, but mandates are designed to protect the community’s citizens. These regulations exist for a reason, although there may come a time where some become outmoded, and that is the time to follow the locale’s instructions for effecting changes for the greater good through the appropriate democratic process.
We are in the Florida marine construction business and employ professionals who have been constructing docks, decks, and seawalls for over thirty years. Even though we know what we are doing, we never take a chance on any of our employees getting hurt or putting them in an untenable position. Safety is always our first step and defines everything we do.