If spring is the season for cleaning the inside of your home, then fall must be the season for cleaning up the outside. We talked recently about taking in the beauty of fall foliage and the changing colors. But when those leaves fall in your yard, someone has to clean them up. Stay safe while you’re working with our fall yard cleanup tips.
If you’re clearing away leaves the old fashioned way, with your rake, take precautions to prevent back injuries.
- Warm up before you start raking to avoid straining muscles. A bit of walking and light stretching should work just fine.
- Resist the temptation to lean over your rake. Bad posture can lead to back injuries. Keep your back straight and your stance upright as you rake.
- Make sure your rake is in good repair and is the right size and shape for the job. Your local home and garden store is a great place to start if you need advice.
- Wear gloves to prevent blisters.
Your Leaf Blower and You
If you’re going high-tech getting rid of your leaves, make sure to take the proper precautions. Leaf blowers can stir up a lot of dust and debris.
- Make sure to wear eye protection and clothing that covers your arms and legs.
- Also consider ear protection and a sturdy pair of work boots.
- Make sure your equipment is in good working order before you start.
- Always follow manufacturer instructions to prevent serious injury.
Keep Walkways Clear
Yes, it can be strenuous cleaning up those leaves, but it is an important safety precaution. Make sure to keep sidewalks and driveways clear of leaves. If it rains, wet leaves can be very slippery and present a hazard for you and any guests you may have.
Be Careful On Ladders
It’s likely you will need to use your ladder at some time during the fall. You might need to clean your gutters – those darn leaves again – prune your trees, or remove dead branches. Do everything you can to prevent an accident.
- Use the buddy system. Don’t ever climb a ladder solo. Make sure you have someone to steady the bottom of the ladder and spot you if necessary.
- Wear shoes that are not slippery and will stay on your feet. Don’t wear anything that might get caught somewhere, causing you to fall.
- Test your ladder to make sure it is sturdy and in good repair before climbing.
- Look up first. Make sure you know where power and phone lines are and keep your distance when climbing.
Keep An Eye Out for Children
A big pile of leaves is like a kid magnet, so be extra careful. Don’t let your kids play in leaves that are piled close to the road. A driver might not be able to see them. By the same token, be extra careful driving in residential neighborhoods and keep an eye out for children near the street.
Take Care of Yourself
You might not think yard work is very strenuous, but it takes a lot of energy. Make sure to stay hydrated. Take frequent breaks and remember to eat regularly. You want to be at your best so you can focus on getting the job done – and done safely.