Summer Gardening Safety Tips
Brush up on your safety tips before pulling out your lawn mower, electric shears or string-trimmer.
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By Thomasi McDonald
Raleigh News & Observer
'Tis the season when the smell of freshly mowed lawns and loamy, newly overturned soil and mulch waft through the air.
But all may not be well in the garden; brush up on your safety tips before pulling out your lawn mower, electric shears or string-trimmer.
The North Carolina Department of Insurance has teamed up with Underwriters Laboratories' regional offices at Research Triangle Park to offer valuable safety tips.
- Read the owner's manual thoroughly before operating the mower.
- Learn the controls well enough to act instantly in an emergency and to stop the machine quickly.
- Always start the mower outdoors. Never operate the mower where carbon monoxide can collect, such as in a closed garage, storage shed or basement.
- Do not operate your electrically powered lawn mower on wet grass.
- Make sure all safety guards are in place and keep the mower's blades sharp. If you hit a foreign object or have a mower malfunction, turn off the mower and disconnect the power cord before inspecting for damage.
- Keep your hands and feet away from the mower's blades. Never reach under the mower for any reason while the mower is operating and make all adjustments with the motor off.
- Safe footwear is important, especially with walk-behind mowers.
Lawn And Garden Tools:
- Always look for the UL listing mark before purchasing a power tool, garden appliance or any other electrical product. The UL listing mark on a product means that representative samples of that product have been tested to stringent safety standards with regard to fire, electric shock and related safety hazards.
- Before using any appliance or tool, read and follow the manufacturer's use and care instructions.
- Before each use, inspect tools for frayed power cords and cracked or broken casings. If the product is damaged, don't use it or attempt to repair it yourself. Return the product or have a qualified repair shop examine it.
- Always wear proper attire. Keep your clothing, hands and feet away from cutting blades at all times. Never wear jewelry when working with tools.
- Always wear safety glasses.
- Pay attention to warning markings. Don't allow tools to get wet unless they are labeled "Immersible." When using tools outside, make sure they are appropriate for outdoor use.