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Woman and granddaughter in garden

Play it safe with yard maintenance

With nice weather comes backyard barbecues, patio parties and picnic playdates. Make sure to prep your yard carefully for spring and summer fun. 


Even if you’re an experienced gardener, many commonly used yard maintenance tools can present dangers. Approximately 75,000 people are seriously injured by lawnmowers each year, according to the Insurance Information Institute.


These tips will help keep you safe:


Mowing your lawn

  • Know how to quickly shut off your mower in case of an emergency.
  • Never leave a lawn mower running unattended.
  • Make sure all lawn mower safety equipment is intact, and check for frayed or cut wiring before you mow. 
  • Never remove safety features such as blade guards or spark arrestors, which prevent fires. 
  • Remove rocks, sticks and other debris from the yard before mowing. If they’re picked up and thrown out from the lawn mower, these objects can cause serious injury. Metal blades striking rocks can create sparks that start fires. 
  • Never attempt to unclog or work on a lawn mower while the engine is on. 
  • Keep young children away from the mower.
  • Only add fuel to your mower when the engine is cool, and make sure to use the recommended grade of fuel.


Trimming trees

Prune tree limbs regularly to keep them from damaging your home, decks and outbuildings. Even after winter weather has past, tree branches can break due to age or disease. If a tree is too close to your home, consider having it removed. 


Cleaning roof gutters

When winter is over, remove leaves, sticks and other debris from roof gutters so water can flow freely when the rains return. Make sure gutters are secure and downspouts drain away from your foundation. If possible, extend the bottom of the downspout away from your home by at least six feet.


Removing yard waste

Consider composting leaves, sticks, grass cuttings and other yard waste instead of burning them or putting them in landfill. Burning yard waste may not be legal in your area and puts your home at risk for fire. You can also contact your local sanitation department for the best way to get rid of yard debris. 


For more information, talk to a AAA Insurance agent or visit your local branch office.