Let’s Keep Our Lawns – and Ourselves – Safe in Connecticut

For many of our neighbors in Brookfield, Danbury, Bethel and surrounding towns, summer means more than just sunshine and vacations. It can also mean working in the yard, quite often with tools that can be dangerous if not used properly.

Around 400,000 people each year are treated for injuries from lawn and garden tools, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). To keep your landscaping efforts from landing you (or a loved one!) in the hospital, be sure to follow these simple safety tips:

Tool safety tips from the U.S. CPSC

  • Dress appropriately. To protect yourself from debris when using lawn tools, wear eye protection, long pants, long-sleeved shirts, close-fitting clothes, and no jewelry. Sturdy shoes are recommended, and ear plugs may be appropriate depending on how loud the device is.
  • Clean up the area first. Before starting your power tools, be sure to remove any objects that could cause injury or damage (such as sticks, glass, or stones) from your work area.
  • Keep children indoors and supervised at all times when any outdoor power equipment is being used. Never let a child ride or operate a garden tractor or riding mower, even if the child is supervised. And never assume children will remain where you last saw them.
  • Be mindful of how you handle power tools. Use extreme caution when backing up or approaching corners, shrubs, and trees. There are a lot of things you could accidentally hit which could result in damage or, worse, an injury.
  • Teenagers using power equipment should always be supervised by an adult. As mature as you think your teen is, you should always play it safe. I’ve heard too many stories about teens getting injured by careless mistakes which could have been easily spotted and prevented by a supervising adult.
  • Handle gasoline carefully. Never fill tanks while the machinery is on or when equipment is still hot. And it should go without saying that you should 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. Water and electricity are never a good combination. These conditions carry the risk of electrocution, so play it safe by waiting for things to dry off. For additional protection, you may consider using a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).
  • Check your extension cords. 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.

Lawn Chemical Safety Tips from Texas A&M University

  • Read the warnings and instructions. If you plan on using chemicals to control weeds or pests in your lawn, be sure to read the product label carefully so you understand the potential effects on humans, animals, and the environment. Follow all instructions. Don’t just assume that a brand of chemical you bought this year will work like the brand you bought last year or, if it’s the same brand, that you can remember everything perfectly.
  • Try to limit your exposure to the chemicals. Keep children and animals away from the application area as well as protecting your skin, eyes, and nose during and after application.
  • Don’t overdo it. Always remember that you should only use the recommended amount. Using more of a chemical usually doesn’t do a better job, but it could ruin your lawn or hurt somebody.
  • Make sure you’re using the right product. Ask yourself if you truly need to use a general pesticide. Is there a product that will specifically treat only the problem you need to solve?

Remember: A healthy lawn is only good if the owners are healthy as well. As such, your safety should always be the top priority. All of us here at the Warwick Agency wish you the best of luck with your summer lawncare and maintenance.

And, if you live around the Brookfield, CT area and want to learn about homeowners insurance, be sure to give us a call today at (203) 775-2564 (because who knows what can happen tomorrow!)

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