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.