PRACTISE SAFE GARDENING BY FOLLOWING THESE RULES,
AND YOU CAN MAKE YOUR GARDEN A HAZARD-FREE ZONE.
A garden should be a fun and safe place for the whole family. However it can also be full of unexpected dangers - around half a million people were injured in their gardens last year, and one person a week killed. Children are particularly vulnerable, especially when left unattended.
You can make your garden a safe place and get the best out of it by following these simple safety rules.
Look after yourself
Plan work ahead and take your time - tiredness can make you careless.
Use safety equipment designed for the job. Protect your sight with safety glasses or a visor when using hedgetrimmers, stone cutters and strimmers. Wear ear plugs or defenders when using noisy machinery like chainsaws or compost shredders. Stout gloves and shoes can prevent injury when using sharp tools or removing blades, thorns or protruding nails.
Use the right ladder for the job, and with care.
Use tools with care
Treat power tools with respect. Read and follow the instructions carefully.
Keep trailing leads well away from moving blades. Use an RCD (residual current device) to protect you from suffering an electric shock.
Check all plugs, wiring and controls for damage regularly - do not try to repair worn cables, get them replaced.
Switch off petrol driven equipment and unplug electrical tools before making adjustments, cleaning or checking for damage.
Always keep electrical tools dry, and well away from children.
In the garden
STEPLADDER - don’t use a ladder side-on a soft surface.
BARBECUE - a major fire risk if left unattended.
FENCES - Broken fences are an easy escape route for children and pets onto busy roads.
WATER - Unfenced ponds and open water butts attract children who can easily drown.
PATHS - Broken and uneven paths can cause trips and falls.
ELECTRICAL TOOLS - Highly dangerous if left plugged in and unattended.
PLANTS - Avoid poisonous plants if there are young children in the family.
TOOLS - Hazardous when left lying about.
GARDEN SHED - Unlocked door leaving dangerous chemicals and tools within reach of children.
SWINGS - On a hard surface and near glass, an accident waiting to happen.
Keep your garden tidy
Clutter and debris do not just look untidy, they can cause accidents. Falls are responsible for the largest number of accidents in the garden and can be particularly serious for older people.
Repair or clear uneven paving slabs, broken concrete, muddy or moss covered paths as quickly as possible.
Store garden equipment tidily to save everyone from slips and trips.
Beware of fire
Start bonfires well away from trees. hedges, fences and your house. Use firelighters to get them going, and keep the fire small so that it doesn’t get out of control. Never use petrol.
Site barbecues away from wooden fences and sheds. Do not use petrol or paraffin on them - use firelighters or the special gel type starter fluids.
Keep children well away from bonfires and barbecues - do not leave children unsupervised.
Remember the children
Keep chemicals, like weedkillers, insecticides, wood preservatives and fertilisers under lock and key, and always in their original containers.
Children make a bee-line for garden ponds, paddling and swimming pools. Ideally, fill garden ponds and make them into sandpits or fence them in while the children are young. Empty paddling pools immediately after use. Fence off swimming pools or use a child-proof fixed cover.
Fix play equipment securely and check regularly for wear and tear. Keep swings well away from glass, trees and bushes and avoid placing them on hard surfaces such as gravel or paving.
Be wary about plants which could be poisonous or present a choking hazard.
Mend broken fences and keep gates closed to stop inquisitive children finding their way outside onto busy streets.
ALWAYS MAKE SURE AN ADULT IS AROUND WHILE YOUNG CHILDREN ARE IN THE GARDEN.