Summertime means a lot of time spent in the yard.
Much of that time is devoted to lawn maintenance. My wife and I enjoy taking care of the yard. It’s a time to de-stress from all the other tasks that need to be done.
We like to do things right. And by ‘right’ I mean we want the end result to look great. And we also want to be safe.
With kids (ours and the others in the neighborhood) and a dog, it’s important that we obey some basic safety rules of lawn care.
Check out the photo above. I gathered up our typical yard-work tools and accessories.
Gloves and goggles are a MUST. Your hands and eyes are priceless.
Here’s the list:
1. Before you pull the rope or turn the key on the equipment — take a walk around the yard. Check for objects that might wreck havoc on your machine (or your shins, or the windows of the house next door). Look for twigs and sticks, water bottles, soda pop cans, rocks, chunks of mulch, and anything else that might cause trouble. Pick them up and dispose of them properly.
2. Make sure your equipment is in good working order. Filled with gas? Oil at the proper level? Blades sharp? Weed trimming line intact? Eye protection clean? (PLEASE wear either goggles or safety glasses. Your eyes are so very important. Keep them safe!)
3. Be sure the young children are away from the area being mowed or trimmed. You need to stay focused on your task. Kids and dogs can run in front of a lawn mower in an instant. Avoid tragic accidents: keep the kids and pets inside or far away from equipment that your operating.
4. Keep fuel and oil out of the reach of kids. Need I say more?
5. Speaking of fuel. Be sure to use the proper fuel. Some engines use gasoline, some use a mixture of gas and oil. Consult your owner’s manual or do a Google search if you have questions.
6. Use the right tool for the job. Don’t try to be a hero and think you can cut down small trees with a weed-wacker. It ain’t gonna work. Be smart, okay?
7. Wear shoes and socks. Trust me on this one. I love my flip-flops just as much as the next guy. But for lawn mowing and trimming? No way. I’ve learned my lesson the hard way. Long sleeves are a good idea too — especially when operating a grass trimmer. It stings like heck when that machine picks up a piece of mulch and launches it into your forearm (ask me how I know).
8. Never leave a machine unattended. Turn the mower off before stepping away from it.
9. Operate your lawn mower going forward. Try not to pull the mower backward. Same goes for riding lawn tractors. Operate the machine in the DRIVE position as much as possible. Mowing in reverse can be dangerous.
10. Weed trimmers should be used in a forward direction too. I fail on this one. I have better luck with trimming if I walk backward. Crazy I know. I really should walk forward so I can see what’s in front of me.
Make your yard a fun place to be. Keep it looking nice by cutting grass and trimming often — before it gets out of control.
And remember: SAFETY is RULE NUMBER ONE!