Lawnmowers and other power tools make landscaping tasks much easier and more time-efficient. But it’s important to remember that these tools can be dangerous when used incorrectly. Follow these landscaping safety tips to prevent injuries and keep your family safe.

Watch for foreign objects. Before mowing your lawn, it’s best to walk around it and look for any foreign objects in the grass. A lawn mower can catch anything in its path, and items like stray rocks, nails, or pieces of glass can be extremely dangerous when thrown forcefully into the air. Many landscaping-related injuries result from sharp objects puncturing unsuspecting gardeners.

Children should stay inside whenever you’re doing landscaping work. Because lawnmowers can fling objects at roughly the same velocity as a bullet fired from a gun, children shouldn’t play in the yard while you’re mowing the grass.

Wear protective goggles. If your lawnmower or weed trimmer does throw objects into the air, the last place you want to be hit is in your eyes. Goggles will also protect your eyes from allergens like pollen which can cause major irritation upon contact.

Be careful with riding lawnmowers. When mowing grass on a hill, or moving a lawnmower from the back of a truck to the ground, remember that riding mowers can be surprisingly top heavy. Many severe injuries have resulted from heavy lawnmowers turning over and crushing their riders. Never allow your children to ride on the mower with you.

Turn off the mower before inspecting it. If your mower appears to clog or malfunction during use, turn it off before attempting to locate the source of the problem.

Use a broomstick or similar object to remove debris. If your lawnmower seems clogged, never put your hands inside it. The blades inside the mower are extremely sharp, and once the clog is removed the blades may swing toward you unpredictably.

Never add fuel to a hot lawnmower. Turn off the mower before adding fuel, and wait for it to cool down. You would be surprised at the number of people who suffer burns from failing to take this precaution.

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