It's Time for Spring Cleaning

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By United Illuminating on May 7, 2013, 3:55pm Last modified: May 13, 2013, 10:06am

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Ah, springtime: that glorious time of year when the birds start to sing a little louder, when the flowers begin blooming from the hardened ground and your fresh list of spring cleaning to dos begins to grow. The snow has melted and suddenly you find that the lawn needs mowing, the garden needs tending and the house could use a fresh coat of paint.

As you begin to gather up your supplies for this year’s spring clean-up, keep these safety tips in mind:

  • If you’re reusing last season’s lawn and garden power tools, inspect them for frayed power cords and cracked or broken casings. If an item is damaged, have it repaired by a qualified technician or replace it.
  • Never carry a power tool by the cord or yank a power cord from a receptacle. When disconnecting the cord, always grasp the plug, not the wire. Keep cords away from heat, oil and sharp edges.
  • If you purchase new tools this spring, look for the UL Mark, which means the product has been tested against stringent safety standards for fire, electric shock and other safety hazards.
  • When pulling out the lawnmower for the first time this year, refresh your memory by reading the owner’s manual. Be sure you know how to stop the machine in case of an emergency.
  • If you have a gasoline-powered mower, store the gas in a UL Classified safety can. 
  • Always start your mower outdoors. Never operate it where carbon monoxide can collect, such as in a closed garage, storage shed or basement.
  • Don’t operate an electric or gas-powered lawn mower on wet grass.
  • When you’re through with power tools and garden appliances, store them away from water sources to avoid electric shock. Never use them in the rain.
  • Whether your ladder is brand new or it has seen a few spring cleanings, read the instructions and warning labels before using it. They’ll help you choose the right ladder for the job and describe ladder weight and height limits.
  • Remember the 4-to-1 rule. For every 4 feet of ladder height, the bottom of the ladder should be 1 foot away from the wall or object it is leaning against.

These tips won’t help you repair the wood shed or even lend a helping hand as you clean out the garage, but they will help keep you safe as you begin to cross these spring cleaning tasks off your list of things to do.

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United Illuminating


Reporting for WXedge since January 2013.

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