Be Prepared: Spring is on it’s way…

Although it may not seem like it, Spring is here and eventually the weather will warm up. As you finally start all of your Spring projects, inside and outside, we want you to be safe. Following some of these safety guidelines can help you have a healthy and happy Spring.

Gardening

gardening-3296781_1920.jpgGardening can be one of the most satisfying warm weather pastimes.  However, it can quickly become one of the worst if you ignore safe practices. Keep gardening fun by following these simple safety rules:

  • Wear gloves to protect your hands from cuts and scrapes.
  • Use insect repellent containing DEET.
  • When digging in a garden, always use tools instead of your hands.
  • Stretch your muscles prior, avoid repetitive motions, and make sure to keep good posture while working to avoid muscle strains or injury.
  • Put away chemicals (like weed killer) to avoid children coming into contact with them.

Grilling

barbecue-3178916_1920Who doesn’t love a cookout?! Grilling can be fun and bring families together. Prepare your safety checklist before grilling this year to avoid injuries. Grills, no matter what type, should always be operated outside and have a designated safe zone that children know to avoid. However, gas and charcoal grills can face different safety hazards.

Gas/Propane Grills

  • Before opening the gas valve, check the hose for cracks or leaks and repair them.
  • Make sure the lid is open before turning on the gas valve – if the lid is closed it can cause gas to build up and result in a flash explosion.
  • If you smell gas while grilling – move away from the grill and call the local Fire Department.
  • Make sure to close the valve to the propane container and close down the grill completely.

Charcoal Grill

  • Before using your charcoal grill, inspect it and remove any rust build up or debris.
  • Remove any flammable objects from around the grill area.
  • If the fire is low, do not add charcoal lighter fluid – instead, add more charcoal or kindling to the fire.
  • Do not leave your grill unattended.

Lawn Care

lawn-mower-2127637_1920-2913551411-1523289260498.jpgWinter weather can really take a toll on the yard. Once the weather warms up, it’s time to get out and start cleaning up and preparing the yard for the upcoming months. That usually involves lawn care equipment like mowers, weed cutters, brush cutters, and tillers. It is important to follow strict safety guidelines to avoid injuries.

  • Before operating any lawn care machinery, ALWAYS fully read the instruction manual – Know how to operate your equipment properly.
  • Inspect your equipment for damage that may have occurred at the end of last season or while sitting over the winter.
  • When preparing to mow, walk the area and pick up sticks, rocks, and other potential hazards.
  • Wear appropriate clothing – long sleeves, a wide brimmed hat, shoes with rubber soles, and gloves. That also includes wearing earplugs when operating noisy machinery.
  • If your tool breaks or runs out of gas while you’re in the middle of a job, turn the machine off before refilling it with gas and let it completely cool before performing any repairs.

Spring Cleaning

clean-571679_1920Nothing says spring like opening the windows, letting in the fresh air, and clearing out the dust bunnies. Cleaning seems like something that wouldn’t require many safety precautions, but it’s important to be prepared by following some preventative measures like:

  • Before stirring up dust, replace filters and wear a mask
  • When moving furniture, share the load with another person and be sure to use proper lifting techniques
  • Try organic cleaners to avoid the high toxicity level of traditional cleaners
  • Wear gloves and make sure you have proper ventilation if you need to use chemicals
  • Take breaks as needed so you don’t overexert yourself
  • Be sure to put away all cleaning products when not in use, in order to keep children safe.

Severe Weather

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Unfortunately, with the change in weather, also comes severe storms and tornadoes. It is important to set plans in preparation for unexpected changes in weather.

  • Invest in a portable battery operated radio, to stay updated if the power goes out.
  • Create an emergency kit including items like:
    • flashlights
    • bottled water
    • snacks
    • extra batteries
    • prescription medications
    • first aid kit
  • Create an emergency plan and run practice drills with your family
  • For more tips read here.

Unfortunately, accidents do happen. In the event of an injury, evaluate the severity and determine the best course of action.  The answer could be as simple as antibacterial ointment and bandages. However, if you’re in question as to the severity, it’s best to go to your nearest Emergency Department.

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We hope you all stay safe and enjoy this Spring!!

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