Grab your gardening gloves and tools - and get ready for spring cleaning with these safety tips from CSA Group

TORONTO, April 7, 2015 /CNW/ - It might not feel like spring just yet but the season is upon us, and that means it's time to trade in your mittens for gardening gloves. While many homeowners look forward to the big annual clean-up, outside yard work can be a daunting – and potentially risky – task. CSA Group, a leader in public safety, testing and certification, wants to help make backyard upkeep enjoyable and safe.

"It has been a tough winter for some Canadians, and we expect people will be eager to get the garden ready when warm weather finally hits," says Allison Hawkins, Manager, Corporate Affairs, CSA Group. "But if people don't take the proper precautionary steps, injuries can easily happen when taking care of spring maintenance chores."

CSA Group offers the following safety tips to make springtime maintenance more manageable:

  1. Mow on: While the ice might not have melted everywhere in the country just yet, your lawn will need to be trimmed soon. Now is the time to make sure your mower is ready. Look for the CSA Group certification mark on an electric lawnmower, which indicates it complies with the applicable standards. Make sure all safety guards and controls are in working order – specifically, and:
    • Before mowing the lawn, clear away sticks, stones and other objects that could get caught in the machine or flung by the blades,
    • Wear clothing that provides some protection, including long pants, a long sleeved shirt and firmly tied shoes with non-slip soles and hard toes,
    • Shut off, unplug and engage safety devices on the mower before removing clogged grass clippings. Always use a stick or long-handled scraper to remove clogs; never your hands.

  2. Tackle topiary: Spring cleaning often includes the joy of trimming and shaping hedges and trees in the garden. Always inspect all power tools and cords before each use and, to avoid a shocking experience, never use a device that has a cracked casing, loose part or frayed cord. Make sure any extension cords that are used are designed and marked for outdoor use and are of a heavy enough gauge to carry the intended load.

  3. Heat's on: For those cool spring nights, an outdoor heater keeps the deck toasty. Make sure that any fuel burning equipment is only lit outdoors and at least three metres from combustible materials. Before you use your heat lamp, inspect the parts for leaks, blockages or damage.

  4. Grill master: Before firing up the barbecue for the first time, carefully inspect burners and burner tubes for blockages that may have occurred over the winter season, including dirt, grease, insects, nests or rust build up. Remember, propane cylinders must be inspected and re-qualified every 10 years in Canada. If yours has passed its best before date, recycle it properly.

  5. Heads up: Before heading up a ladder to clean out eaves troughs or wash windows, inspect your ladder to ensure nuts, bolts and joints are tight, the rungs are sturdy and the ladder isn't damaged, bent or broken. For proper use, ladders should be set up at a 75-degree angle from the base.

 

About CSA Group 

CSA Group is an independent, not-for-profit membership association dedicated to safety, social good and sustainability. Its knowledge and expertise encompass standards development; training and advisory solutions; global testing and certification services across key business areas including hazardous location and industrial, plumbing and construction, medical, safety and technology, appliances and gas, alternative energy, lighting and sustainability; as well as consumer product evaluation services. The CSA certification mark appears on billions of products worldwide.  For more information about CSA Group visit www.csagroup.org.

SOURCE CSA Group

For further information: Allison Hawkins, Manager, Corporate Affairs, 416-747-2615, allison.hawkins@csagroup.org


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