With the summer season right around the corner, there are a lot of fun activities and projects to look forward to. From yardwork, to backyard barbecues, to a few trips to the lake, a little preparation can go a long way in preventing accident and injury. We’ve put together a few tips to help keep you and your family safe this summer. Enjoy the season!
YARDWORK SAFETY TIPS
For many homeowners, summer means more than sunshine and vacations. It also means working in the yard – often with tools that can be dangerous if not used properly. Each year about 400,000 people are treated for injuries from lawn and garden tools, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Don’t let your landscaping efforts land you in the hospital!
Follow these handy safety tips.
- Dress appropriately. To protect yourself from debris when using lawn tools, wear eye and ear protection, long pants, long-sleeved shirts, close-fitting clothes, sturdy shoes, and no jewelry.
- Remove objects from your work area that could cause injury or damage, such as sticks, glass, or stones.
- Watch your children. Keep children indoors and supervised at all times when any outdoor power equipment is being used. Do not take children on rides with a riding mower. Use extreme caution when backing up or approaching corners, shrubs, and trees.
- Handle gasoline carefully. Never fill tanks while machinery is on or when equipment is still hot. Never smoke or use any type of flame around gasoline or any gasoline-powered equipment.
- Do not work with electric power tools in wet or damp conditions. For protection against electrocution, use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).
- Be sure that extension cords are in good condition, are rated for outdoor use, and are the proper gauge for the electrical current capacity of the tool.
TIPS FOR SAFE BACKYARD GRILLING
Firing up the barbecue is a summer ritual enjoyed on many occasions. However, keep in mind that when you grill, you’re literally playing with fire. Thousands of residents each year learn this the hard way, suffering damage to their homes or even serious injuries in grilling accidents. You can prevent grilling accidents by taking some simple precautions.
Here are a few tips to keep things safe the next time you fire up the grill.
- Store and use the grill on a level surface outdoors, away from anything that could be ignited by flames (bushes, fences, etc.). Keep the grill a safe distance from your home or other structures.
- NEVER use a grill indoors. Odorless carbon monoxide fumes could kill you.
- Keep your grill clean and well-maintained. Check parts regularly to determine if replacements are needed.
- Never leave a hot grill unattended or let children play near it.
- Do not add lighter fluid directly to hot coals. The flame could travel up the stream of fluid and burn you. Never use gasoline or kerosene to light a charcoal fire.
- Use flame-retardant mitts and long-handled barbecue tongs.
- To dispose of coals, allow the ashes to cool for at least 48 hours before disposal in a non-combustible container. If you cannot wait 48 hours, carefully place coals individually in a can of sand or bucket of water.
- Check your grill’s hoses for leaks before using it for the first time each year. If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
- Do not keep a filled propane tank in a hot car or trunk. When getting containers refilled, make that your last stop before going home. Store propane tanks in an upright position, and never indoors.
GETTING YOUR BOAT READY FOR THE SEASON
If you love the water, there are few things better than a good day out on the lake, cooling off with a swim, casting a line in hopes of catching the “big one,” or enjoying an action-packed day of waterskiing and tubing. However, boating is not without its share of pre-summer preparation.
Here are a few tips to ensure your boat is ready to go when the water calls your name:
- It’s always a good idea to have your boat winterized at the end of each season, but whether you did or didn’t get it done last year, make sure to get a full tune-up before you hit the lake this summer.
- Make sure your battery is fully charged.
- If there’s a chance any bit of gas from last season is still in your tank, fill it up with fresh gas as well as a stabilizer; this will prevent buildup in the gas lines and injection system.
- Check your registration and insurance information to make sure you have the most up-to-date information onboard.
- Inspect all life jackets to ensure they are in good condition and that you have enough of the right sizes for all potential passengers.
- Make sure all safety equipment is in place and in good working order, including lights, fire extinguishers, safety flag, whistle, oars, and first-aid kit. Check the requirements specific to the state in which you plan to be boating.
- Before you get the boat all the way into the water and off the trailer, lower your motor into the water and make sure it will turn over.
- Make sure your drain plug is in and the bilge pump is functioning properly before every launch.