Countless tools are used to landscape and care for the land which surrounds your home. There is a reason that hardware stores like Lowe's have such a huge section devoted to caring for your lawn. It is important to remember that lawn care is not as simple as it may seem at first.
In addition to being hard work (especially if it is done during the summer heat), you will find that landscaping can also be dangerous work. It takes experience, strength, and physical resilience to be able to endure yard work and to be able to accomplish it safely. It is for these reasons that we have chosen to write this guide on safely caring for your lawn.
Several tools can be dangerous if misused, and we will be going over each of them and how you can try to use them as safely as possible while you work. These tools will include lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, and weed whackers.
We have decided to start with lawn mowers because they are the most ubiquitous lawn care tool around. Most homes that have some form of front yard or backyard will have a lawn mower somewhere around the house, usually stored in a garage or a shed.
There are several types of lawn mowers, ranging from small electric powered models all the way up to driveable gasoline powered lawn mowers. Each of these types of lawn mowers features different aspects that should be considered regarding safety, so this section will be split up into subsections addressing each type of lawn mower.
These lawn mowers are of the type that you see most often. They are small enough to be pushed along by a single person and stored away in a relatively compact form. They can be powered either by gasoline or electricity, and they can also feature a reservoir bag for cut grass or simply eject it through a port in the side.
As with all lawn mowers, it is important to ensure that it is always firmly placed on the ground while it is in operation. You never want to have the lawnmower tilted on its side in any way while it is on as you will then be exposed to the cutting mechanism and potential injury. This is especially true for older models without safety cutoffs.
For gas powered models, you will want to ensure that you keep the gas stored in a cool, dark location where it will not be exposed to direct sunlight. In addition to diminishing the usable lifespan of your gasoline, direct sunlight can increase the risk of a fire.
When it comes to lawn mowers that eject the grass remnants from the side, you will want to ensure that there is never someone standing directly in front of the ejection port. If your lawnmower blades come into contact with something hard on the ground, such as a stick or piece of trash, it may be ejected from the port at high speed and can potentially injure someone.
When you have to cut a large area of grass, there is no choice but to use a larger model of the lawn mower, more specifically a riding mower. These tend to be in the form of small tractor-like vehicles that feature larger cutting blades on the underside than your typical pushed lawn mower and much more cutting power.
When using a riding mower, it is important to always keep your eyes sharp on the route directly in front of you. Since it is harder to see what is directly in front of you due to the height of the mower, you will want to spot anything at a distance before you even get close to it. This can range from potential obstacles which may damage your mower to wild animals.
Another consideration to make is not to drive your riding mower overly aggressively. While they do not go fast enough to be flipped over while completing a turn, you do not want to ride your lawn mower onto any precarious ledges or other positions in which it may be flipped. A riding mower should be driven as responsibly as any motorized vehicle.
Weed whackers are used to clear weeds away from the periphery of your garden. They typically resemble a small motor attached to the end of a pole. This motor is usually connected to a wire which rotates at high speed and slashes away any weeds that are starting to grow or already have grown.
When using a weed whacker, you will always want to hold it at a reasonably far distance from you. In addition to the risk of being hit by the wire, there may also be bits of weeds churned up which can get into your eyes or otherwise inconvenience you. Always keep an eye out for any hard surfaces as they may break the cutting wire.
Hedge trimmers are another gardening tool that can potentially be dangerous when used irresponsibly. Due to their chainsaw-like design, you will find that hedge trimmers require a steady hand a good deal of common sense to use.
You never want to attempt to cut a branch which is beyond the capabilities of your hedge trimmer due to the chance of breaking either the blades or the motor. You should also always ensure that your feet are firmly planted while you are using your hedge trimmer and that your grip is firm enough to resist any possible vibrations.
We hope that this brief list of lawn care safety tips has helped you out. While many of these tips may seem obvious, you are always better off being safe than sorry. Some people don't realize just how dangerous certain gardening tools can be in irresponsible hands. If there are any questions or concerns, feel free to leave them down in the comments below.
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