Spring Safety Tips
Spring is a busy time of year. With that comes all sorts of safety issues. Listed below are a few precautions to take to make life easier and safe for Spring.
Scooter, Bike and Pedestrian Safety
Scooters, bikes, in-line skates and skateboards are associated with numerous injuries yearly.
- Wear a comfortable, properly fitted helmet bearing the label of an independent testing lab. Be sure that the helmet sits level on top of the head–not rocking in any direction–and always fasten the safety strap.
- Be sure that safety gear (wrist, elbow and kneepads) fits properly and does not interfere with the rider's movement, vision or hearing. Wrist pads are not recommended for scooter riders as they may affect their ability to maneuver.
- Ride scooters
and bikes only on smooth, paved surfaces and only ride during daylight
Learn the proper hand signals and use them when you turn or stop.
- Come to a complete stop before entering driveways, paths or sidewalks, then look left, right and left again for bikes, cars or pedestrians heading your way.
- Teach crossing safety to children by example
Beware when you barbecue. In 1998 alone, there were 6,100 reported home fires involving gas or charcoal grills in the U.S., leading to $29.1 million in direct property damage, according to NFPA.
- When using barbecue grills always be sure to leave sufficient space from siding and eaves.
- New Jersey law forbids any grill to be utilized on the balconies of an apartment, townhouse or condominium.
- Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
- Keep children and pets far away from grills.
- With charcoal grills, only use charcoal starter fluids designed for barbecue grills and do not add fluid after coals have been lit.
- With gas grills, be sure that the hose connection is tight and check hoses carefully for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
- Always follow
the manufacturer's instructions and have the grill repaired by a
professional, if necessary.
Spare propane cylinders should never be stored indoors or under or near the grill.
Extra caution should be used when around water, for children and adults.
- Only swim in approved areas.
- Always supervise children near water at all times and make sure that children learn to swim.
- Check the depth of the water with a lifeguard before jumping in.
- Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFD (personal floatation device) when boating, jet-skiing, tubing or water-skiing. Air-filled swimming aids, like water wings or inner tubes, are not substitutes for approved PFDs. An adult should always supervise children using these devices.
- Be sure to extinguish all smoking materials and shut down motors, fans and heating devices before fueling a boat. In case of a spill, wipe up fuel immediately and check the bilge for fuel leakage and odors. After fueling and before starting the boat's motor, ventilate with the blower for at least four minutes
Cleaning For Safety
- Nature is undergoing a fresh start and so are homeowners who are ready to clean up the debris that has been accumulating in basements, storage sheds and garages over the winter.
- Household and pool chemicals, paints and poisons should be properly marked and stored under lock and key, away from children's reach. Dispose of any that are leaking, expired, or that look bad.
- When cleaning up hazardous chemicals, wear rubber gloves and follow the safety directions on the packaging. Never mix chemicals in the same container. If you don't know how to dispose of them, seek outside advice. Never put them in the trash or pour them down the drain.
- Make sure gasoline and cleaning fluids are well-marked and stored in a cool, dry place away from the house and out of reach of children and pets. Use only approved containers for gasoline storage.
- Never use gasoline to clean skin, clothes, auto parts or floors.
- Clean up work areas. Put dangerous tools, adhesives, matches or other work items away from children's reach.
- Remove all fire hazards, including stacks of rags, newspapers and magazines. Pay special attention to the spaces around your furnace, hot water tank, fireplace, space heaters and dryer, as well as under your stairs.
Yard Work Safety
Itching to get the yard into shape for the summer? Here are ways to help ensure your spring spruce-up is disaster-free.
- Always wear protective clothing when you handle pesticides and fertilizers.
- More than 60,000 people are treated in emergency rooms each year for lawn-mower injuries:
- Rake before you mow to prevent any stones and loose debris from launching into the air
- Never operate a mower in your bare feet and avoid wearing loose clothing.
- Never start a mower indoors.
- Refueling your mower, make sure the engine is off and cool. Don't spill gasoline on a hot engine - and DON'T SMOKE while pouring gasoline.
- Never leave your mower unattended.
- Don't use electrical mowers on wet grass.
- At least 55,000 people each year sustain injuries from trimmers, lawn edgers, pruners and power saws:
- Read the manufacturer's instructions carefully before using the tools.
- Inspect the product for damage and don't use it if there are problems.
- Use proper eye protection.
- Make sure blade guards are in place on all cutting equipment.
- Don't let tools get wet unless they are labeled "immersible”.
- Unplug all tools when not in use.
- Make sure the tool is in the "off" position before you plug it in.
- Store gasoline-powered equipment away from anything that uses a pilot light.
- Make sure you use the right saw for the task, and always wait for the saw blade to stop before pulling away from a cut to avoid kickback.
- When pruning trees, be careful not to let metal ladders or trimmers contact overhead wires.
- Before you do any "hands on" weed removal, be sure you know how to identify poison ivy, sumac, oak and similar toxic plants. Find out ahead of time how to treat the rashes they cause to reduce the irritation.
Camping Safety Tips
- Always use a flame retardant tent and set up camp far away from the campfire.
- Only use flashlights or battery-powered lanterns inside the tent or any other closed space, not liquid-filled heaters or lanterns.
- Always build your campfire down wind away from your tent. Clear all vegetation and dig a pit surrounded by rocks before building your campfire.
- Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire and only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire.
- Always put out a campfire when going to sleep or leaving the campsite. To extinguish the fire, cover with dirt or pour water over it.