When warmer temperatures arrive, your yard and garage can look pretty neglected from the winter season. People tend to get spring fever; they want to get out there and get it done – but not so fast.

Before beginning let’s take a few precautions…

Wear appropriate clothing, tightly woven to protect from sun, and long pants. Don’t forget the sunscreen for your exposed skin. Add closed-toe shoes with non-slip soles, grab a hat, gloves and have your earplugs and safety goggles ready at hand. Okay. NOW you are ready.

Be Aware…

Keep floors, entryways and landings free of clutter to prevent trips and fire hazards. Bend at the knees when lifting and get help with really heavy objects. Read the labels on cleaners, pesticides or other chemicals before use. Check your garage or shed for rodent droppings. If any are present, spray the area with disinfectant or diluted bleach before sweeping. Dispose of the droppings in a double sealed bag.

Walk the yard and clear the lawn of stones, sticks and other debris before mowing. Always wear gloves when cleaning up old leaves. Spiders use dormant vegetation for shelter. Keep an eye out for old wasp nests and harmful plants.

Be familiar with the owner’s manual for your lawn mower. If necessary, sharpen blades. Always refuel and start outdoors. A mower should never be left unsupervised while running. Always clear the area of children and pets before cutting grass. On hills, use a crosswise pattern, not up and down. One slip and your toes could be heading for the mower, or the mower could roll backwards and injure you. Try spiked shoes to prevent slipping and aerate at the same time. Never mow on a hill if the grass is wet. If the hill is too steep to mow, safely use a weed trimmer instead.

Inspect your deck and fence for any wood rot, insect-damaged or broken boards. If you find a problem, correct it before the damage spreads or someone gets hurt. Also, before cleaning eaves troughs or washing windows, check your ladder. Make sure it is sturdy, locked in place, and tall enough for what you need to reach.

Pace yourself, take frequent short breaks and drink plenty of water. Summer has just begun!

Article from The ACSA Advisor Volume 23 Issue 2

Summer 2011

Written By: Patricia Olson