While the view out your window may suggest otherwise, it’s officially spring and that means it’s time to start planning warm weather activities – including spring maintenance. Before you start sprucing things up around your home, CSA Group, a leader in public safety, testing and certification, wants to remind you to play it safe.
“If you aren’t careful, injuries can easily happen while you’re taking care of spring home maintenance chores,” says Allison Hawkins, Manager, Corporate Affairs, CSA Group. “But these types of accidents are all avoidable just by taking a few simple steps to stay safe while you’re readying your home for warmer days.”
CSA Group offers the following top five spring safety tips to keep in mind:
- Height of safety: Before heading up a ladder to clean out eavestroughs 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.
- Lawn time comin’: While the ice might not have melted just yet, the days of lawn-mowing (or, as it’s known in many parts of Canada, dandelion harvesting) will soon be upon us. 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, look for these safety features:
- Rear guard to protect your hands and feet from rotating blades
- “Dead man” control that stops the mower when you release the handle
- Up-stop feature to prevent the handle from kicking up when the mower hits an obstacle you swear wasn’t there last year.
- Trim and bear it: 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.
- Power to the people: An electrical tool or appliance is only as good as the cord that connects it to a power source. It’s important to use the right cord for the job and to use it properly. After you’ve untangled them, check cords and replace them if they are worn or damaged, paying close attention to worn insulation and splices on the cord, and loose or exposed parts on the plug. If using an extension cord, check that it’s heavy enough for the intended load. For any device that draws more than seven amps, use a heavy-duty cord.
- Grills just want to have fun: 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.
About CSA Group
CSA Group is an independent, not-for-profit member-based association dedicated to advancing safety, sustainability and social good. We are an internationally-accredited standards development and testing & certification organization. We also provide consumer product evaluation and education & training services. Our broad range of knowledge and expertise includes: industrial equipment, plumbing & construction, electro-medical & healthcare, appliances & gas, alternative energy, lighting and sustainability. The CSA mark appears on billions of products around the world.
Manager, Corporate Affairs