There are a wide range of hazards that can affect your health and safety while in your yard, but many of the risks that you may face in this area of your property can be identified and risks can be minimized with great results.
Making Your Yard a Safe Environment
Whether your backyard is rather rustic and natural or it has been beautifully landscaped, the fact is that this area of your property may have a number of natural and manmade hazards that you should be aware of.
- For example, the pathways of your yard can have loose steps or dirty steps, and tripping and falling are concerns.
Keeping these areas clear of clutter and debris is important. In addition, you should take time to inspect the branches and limbs of shrubs and trees. These can become weakened over time or due to weather-related events and cause injury or death if they fall down.
In addition, it should be noted that some dangerous areas of the yard may be even more dangerous during the darkened hours of the evening.
- For example, a slick area of a patio or a dislodged stone in a path may be difficult to see at night. Therefore, investing in landscaping lighting to illuminate the space can be beneficial.
Identifying Man-Made Hazards in the Yard
While natural areas of the yard can be hazardous, it is important to note that man-made hazards may also be present.
- For example, pools and ponds can create a drowning risk in the yard. Care should be taken to secure these areas with a safety fence, and they should be illuminated at night. Even when these steps are taken, children should never be left unattended around bodies of water in your yard.
All yard tools and equipment, including hoses, shovels, rakes and more, should be removed from the space as they can create a tripping hazard. Dangerous items, such as sharp spades, pesticides, petrol and other items should be locked inside a cabinet when not in use so that kids do not use them.
Keep in mind that even if you do not have children, children may visit your property or wander into your yard and discover these items.
Protecting Yourself When Working in the Garden
Many properties have a vegetable garden, flower gardens or other features, and the care and maintenance of these garden areas often requires you to use a number of different types of garden tools and equipment.
When operating power tools and motorized equipment, care should be taken to use them only in dry conditions. This can minimize the risk of electricity-related injuries. In addition, all tools and equipment should be inspected before you begin working with them to ensure that they are in good condition.
All equipment, including trimmers, chain saws and other items, should be used with care and only according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You should ensure that you are standing on a stable, solid surface when using these items to minimize the risk of injury.
If you must use a ladder while operating equipment or using tools, ask someone to hold the ladder for added stability. When the tools are not in use, store them in a locked cabinet if possible. If not, place them in an elevated position where they cannot be reached by children.
As a final note, your attire should be suitable for use with the equipment.
- For example, because loose-fitting clothing may become snagged while working with power tools, tight-fitting clothing is a better option. Other items that you may wear include gloves, slip-resistant shoes and protective eyewear.
Yard and Barbecue Safety
Many people love to spend outdoors barbecuing with their family, friends and neighbors from time to time. Whether you are relaxing with your family or have invited a large group of friends over for a barbecue, you should be mindful of the risks associated with barbecuing at home.
Barbecue grills can be fire hazards after they have been used even a single time, and this is because leftover food debris on the grill and the accumulation of grease can easily ignite. Taking time to clean the grill before use is imperative to minimizing the risk associated with using it.
In addition, you should take time to find a proper location for the grill. A grill can easily become very hot when in use. The heat from the exterior of the grill can cause burns, and it can also cause some materials, like dry leaves or hazardous chemicals, to easily catch on fire.
The ideal location for a grill is on stable, flat ground and in a location that is removed from the home, shrubs and branches. Ideally, it will also be located in an area that is off-the-beaten path in your yard. You do not want kids, pets or house guests accidentally bumping into it.
Before you light up the grill, ensure that you have a fire extinguisher handy as well as a bucket of sand or water. Even the most experienced grill-masters may run into fire issues when grilling, and these items can be used to quickly extinguisher a fire if a mishap occurs.
When grilling, be mindful of your attire.
Ideally, form-fitting and fire-safe clothing will be worn. Furthermore, mitts and long-handled tools will be used while grilling. You should always stand next to the grill while it is in use to help keep pets, kids and others from running into it and to be on-hand in case a fire develops.
After you have finished grilling, take steps to put the fire out, such as placing a closed lid on top of it to suffocate the fire. Do not move the grill until it is cool to the touch, and you should ensure that all ashes are thoroughly cool before putting them into a waste disposal bin.
Your yard does not need to be a dangerous place. Follow a few simple guidelines to ensure the safety of you and your family. Afterall, your backyard should be a place your friends and family can come together to have a good time time and make memories. Now go out and have fun grilling, gardening and playing the pool.