Outdoor Living

Take the chill out of winter with a safe backyard skating rink

As we start to sense the winter freeze, some homeowners are heating up plans for backyard skating rinks. These rinks are neighbourhood fixtures for kids to team up for a game of hockey or to step on the ice for the first time.

Despite the magical moments that an ice rink may bring, skating on a backyard ice rink involves risk—both of injury and of property damage.

“Ice skating is a traditional Canadian winter pastime and backyard rinks are a wonderful way to bring those special moments closer to home,” said Wayne Ross, insurance expert at Aviva Canada. “To keep the season safe for both your loved ones and your property, it’s important that safety precautions are a key focus of your winter weather ice rink.”

Ross suggests that backyard rink enthusiasts keep these tips in mind when building their frozen winter retreat:

• Never skate alone: Always have at least two people present. Adults should supervise kids on the ice.

• Protection: Make sure all skaters wear helmets and extra padding for the younger skaters.

• Lots of lighting: Put adequate lighting in place. Ensure extension cords are placed far away from skates and shovels.

• Think property: After flooding the rink, turn off water flow to outside taps to prevent frozen pipes. Build the rink in an area that will drain away from the house when it thaws in the spring.

• Constant inspection: Check the surface regularly for ridges and holes and frequently clear and flood the rink to keep it secure for all skaters.

By building these tips into ice rink preparations, skaters can glide through the winter chill and leave the season with warm memories. More information is available from your insurance broker or online at avivacanada.com.


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