How to Not Get Hurt Doing Yard Work

Winter is almost gone and warm weather is on its way to brighten our days and bring all our plants back to life. No that the winter freezes are over, it’s time to get back outside and bring your yard back to it’s colorful, springtime glory. Before your start up the lawnmower and pile up the leaves, make sure you’re ready to avoid being injured, maimed or worse while working in the yard.

Don’t cut your arm off.
Chainsaws, lawn mowers, and weed whackers are useful and make tedious outdoor tasks go by much faster. However, if you don’t know how to properly use these tools, it could result in serious harm to yourself or your property. Each year, approximately 36,000 people go to the hospital with chainsaw related injuries. To avoid becoming a statistic, make sure you know how to safely use a chainsaw or other dangerous tools, and do not allow anyone to use your tools unless they too know how to do so safely.

Dispose of debris properly.
Dead leaves, fallen twigs, and other debris can be very dangerous if you don’t take care of them. If left on their own, these can pile up and put your home at risk of a fire if any of them should ignite. When you are cleaning up your yard, make sure all debris is gathered in lawn bags, or bundled together and placed by the street, far away from your home. Do not just push leaves and sticks to a pile and ho[e they will disappear, because they won’t. By taking action to get rid of the yard trash, you keep your house looking nice and safe form a potential fire.

Don’t forget the gloves.
Yard work can be messy. Using proper gloves can keep your hands safe from potential thorns or other sharp objects. In addition, it will put a barrier between your skin and any harmful chemicals that could be waiting in the brush.

Check your equipment
Nothing can be more dangerous than an improperly working lawnmower. Before your fire it up, make sure your lawn mower or other gas-powered equipment is functioning properly. Consult your owner’s manual if there is anything that concerns you. If you notice an issue while the equipment is in use, turn it off immediately, get a safe distance away, and call the manufacturer (or 911 if it suddenly catches fire).

Be smart
If there is a jam in your lawnmower, don’t use your hand to try to clear it. Don’t start any equipment indoors. Always have closed toed shoes when using an power tools, and use protective goggles when possible. If using gas, be careful while pouring it into the equipment and make sure you do not overfill or use the wrong kind of fuel.

Campfire Safety: How To Camp Like A Champ

There’s this famous bear who has a saying that is something along the lines of, “Exclusively you can avert wild fires.” That’s not exactly the saying but you can probably figure out what is being referenced here. When you go camping the fire becomes the central location of the camp site. It’s your source of warmth and light, it’s where you cook, and it’s the place where Steve breaks out his guitar and plays “Wonderwall” for the hundredth time. It’s truly one of the most important things you have when you camp and it’s extremely important that you keep it safe. When you are setting up your fire pit here are a few things to keep in mind.

Survey the area

Most campsites you will go to have premade fire pits ready for your usage. If not, check the area and make sure there are no low branches, brushes, or bushes nearby. When you’ve got that nice crackling fire things can sometime pop out of it. It’s best to keep those things away from other flammable objects.

Prep your site

It’s important to clean up the area around where you are going to start your fire. Many fire pits have a metal ring to keep the fire contained but if you are hitting a fresh campsite you may not have this option. Be sure to line your pit with a ring of rocks. Not pebbles. Rocks. Also, make sure you keep your tents and gear a safe distance away from the pit. Think 10 feet more or less.

Water and a shovel

These are key elements to have near your fire at all times and can help control a fire if it starts to spread. Water (preferably in a bucket) obviously puts out fire but you can also cover the flames with dirt to extinguish any rogue flames. You know what’s great for picking up dirt? A shovel.

Watch it

It’s extremely important to always have someone watching the fire. Fire spreads quickly and taking your eye off of it for a second can lead to a bigger fire than you can handle. This is extremely important when camping with children or pets due to their sometimes unpredictable behaviors.

Put out before bed

This goes hand and hand with the last tip. You need to put the fire out and make sure it’s out before going to bed. This is best done by using that trusty water bucket or the shovel to cover the pit in water or dirt. Make sure the coals are out by stirring them and once they are cold or wet or a combination of the two you are done.