Keeping Yourself and Your Yard Safe This Summer

For many of our neighbors in the Chicagoland area, summer means more than sunshine and vacations. It also means working in their yard – often with tools that can be dangerous if not used properly.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates about 230,000 people each year are treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries related to lawn and garden tools. Follow these handy safety tips to keep you out of the ER this summer.

Safety tips for tools

1.      Dress appropriately. To protect yourself from debris, wear sturdy shoes, long pants and long-sleeved shirts, close-fitting clothes, eye protection, heavy gloves, ear plugs when needed and no jewelry.

2.      Remove any objects, such as sticks, glass or stones from your work area that could cause injury or damage.

3.      Have children stay indoors and keep them supervised at all times when you are using outdoor power equipment. Never let children ride or operate a garden tractor or riding mower. Also never assume your child will remain where you last saw them. Use extreme caution when backing up or approaching corners, shrubs and trees.

4.      Teenagers should be supervised by an adult when they are using power equipment.

5.      Handle gasoline carefully. Never fill gas tanks while the machinery is operating or still hot. Store gas in an approved container away from the house and remember to wipe up spills. Of course, you should never smoke while using gas-powered equipment.

6.      Do not use electric power tools in wet or damp conditions. To keep yourself protected against electrocution, use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).

7.      If you are using extension cords, make sure they are in good condition and are rated for outdoor use. Also be sure the extension cords are the proper gauge for the electrical current capacity of the tool.

Lawn Chemical Safety Tips from Texas A&M University

1.      If you are using chemicals to control the weeds or pests in your yard, please read the product label carefully. There could be potential effects on humans, animals and the environment. Remember to follow all instructions.

2.      Keep children and animals away from the area you applied the chemicals. Protect your skin, eyes and nose during and after applying the chemicals.

3.      Only use the recommended amount of chemical. If you use more it will not do a better job on your lawn.

4.      Ask yourself if you really need to use a general pesticide. Is there a product that will specifically treat only problem you need to solve?

From all of us at Frimark/Keller & Associates, here’s to keeping both yourself and your lawn healthy this summer; and remember we are here to help with all of your insurance needs.

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