Getting Ready for Summer: Staying Safe While Cleaning Your Yard
Warmer weather is time for backyard barbecues, pool parties and picnic playdates. This means you’re probably cleaning your house and your yard. But even the most experienced gardener should follow AAA’s tips for staying safe while sprucing up the yard.
MOWING YOUR LAWN
- Know how to quickly shut off your mower in case of an emergency.
- Never leave a lawn mower running unattended.
- Make sure all lawn mower safety equipment is intact and check for frayed or cut wiring before you mow.
- Never remove safety features such as blade guards or spark arrestors, which prevent fires.
- Remove rocks, sticks and other debris from the yard before mowing. If they’re picked up and thrown out from the lawn mower, these objects can cause serious injury. Metal blades striking rocks can create sparks that start fires.
- Never attempt to unclog or work on a lawn mower while the engine is on.
- Keep young children away from the mower.
- Only add fuel to your mower when the engine is cool and make sure to use the recommended grade of fuel.
- Prune tree limbs regularly to keep them from damaging your home, decks and outbuildings. Even after the winter weather has passed, tree branches can break because of age or disease. If a tree is too close to your home, consider having it removed.
CLEANING ROOF GUTTERS
- Remember to remove leaves, sticks and other debris from roof gutters so water can flow freely when the rains return. Make sure gutters are secure and downspouts drain away from your foundation. If possible, extend the bottom of the downspout away from your home by at least 6 feet.
REMOVING YARD WASTE
- Consider composting leaves, sticks, grass cuttings and other yard waste instead of burning them or putting them in a landfill. Burning yard waste may not be legal in your area and puts your home at risk for fire. You also can contact your local sanitation department for the best way to get rid of yard debris.