Do you have an “attractive nuisance” on your property? Anything that is both attractive and dangerous to curious children can be considered an attractive nuisance, making you potentially liable in the event that these objects cause an accident.
Common attractive nuisances include farm equipment, unguarded swimming pools, open pits or holes, abandoned appliances, old vehicles, manmade features and trampolines.
The logic is that even if a child trespassed on your property, you might still be liable if you failed to take necessary steps to prevent the accident. Here are some ways to minimize your liability:
Prevent Access — Install secure, high fences and locked gates to prevent easy access to the nuisance.
Safeguard Discarded Dangers — Remove doors and lids from old household appliances that pose a suffocation hazard.
Lock Parked Vehicles — Always keep the doors, hatches and trunks of parked cars locked with windows, sunroofs and convertible tops closed.
Protect Work Sites — Enclose work sites in safety fencing to keep curious children out and away from tools and building hazards.
Enclose Open Hazards — Pay particular attention to drainage ditches, excavation trenches, wells, cisterns, holding tanks, and open pits where children may fall and become trapped.
Minimize Attractiveness — Hide the nuisance behind fences or hedges. This is especially important if your home is located near where children play.
Secure Play Things — Don’t assume structures designed for kids are hazard-free. Lock down skateboard ramps, trampolines, jungle gyms, playsets and tree houses.