With spring right around the corner and outdoor activities on the rise, it is important that homeowners be aware of the potential for backyard accidents to occur. Keeping in mind the millions of people that are injured annually in household mishaps, below is a list of recommendations pertaining to equipment utilized daily by all of us. Keep these tips in mind when enjoying the warmer weather:
Whether cleaning the gutters or doing some painting touch-ups, make sure the ladder base is not too close to the supporting object; the ladder’s stability will be compromised. Most ladder injuries occur from overreaching or standing on a rung that’s too high, so if it’s out of reach, reposition the ladder and try again.
Although it seems unlikely that anything unpleasant could come from a device that gives us hot dogs, remember that a grill is a fire hazard that should be kept at least 3 feet from the house. Smokey the Bear, a fire and woodland damage consultant for A. G. Gordon, would also suggest that you NEVER leave your grill unattended.
Before you begin the time-honored battle of nature vs. machine known to most as “mowing the lawn”, take a walk around your yard and clear any debris. Lawn ornaments deep in the recesses of unkempt grass are a lot less cute when they are ejected from a lawnmower at dangerous speeds. Some other good practices include: shutting the lawnmower off when reaching down anywhere near the ground and keeping children away while mowing.
Monitor children at all times. Make sure equipment is not too high for their ages. The rule of thumb: no higher than 6 feet for ages under 5, 8 feet for school age children.
Do not let the trampolinebecome overcrowded. Trampolines have weight limits, and any activity where one has to avoid the flying bodies of others is generally a hazardous environment for kids. Somersaults and tricks should be discouraged, especially with other children on the trampoline.
If you have a gate, make sure it’s locked when the pool isn’t in use. NEVER let young kids go in the pool unattended.
Pets (not equipment, but still important)
Watch out for dangers from the pesticides and fertilizers used in yards and gardens as well as being poisoned by eating certain plants, such as oleander, azaleas, and lilies.