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By AAA of Western and Central New York
Warmer weather is finally here! It’s time for backyard barbecues, pool parties and picnic playdates – but first comes spring-cleaning in the house and the yard. Even the most experienced gardener should follow these safety tips from AAA Insurance:
Mowing Your Lawn
√ Know how to quickly shut off your mower in case of an emergency.
√ Never leave a lawn mower running unattended.
√ Make sure all lawn mower safety equipment is intact, and check for frayed or cut wires before mowing.
√ Never remove safety features such as blade guards or spark arrestors, which prevent fires.
√ Remove rocks, sticks and other debris from the yard before mowing. If they’re picked up and thrown out from the lawn mower, these objects can cause serious injury. Metal blades striking rocks can create sparks that start fires.
√ Never attempt to unclog or work on a lawn mower while the engine is on.
√ Keep young children away from the mower.
√ Only add fuel to your mower when the engine is cool, and always use the recommended grade of fuel.
√ Prune tree limbs regularly to keep them from damaging your home, decks and outbuildings. Even after the winter weather has passed, tree branches can break due to age or disease. If a tree is too close to your home, consider having it removed.
Cleaning Roof Gutters
√ Now that winter is over, remove leaves, sticks and other debris from roof gutters so water can flow freely when it rains. Make sure gutters are secure, and downspouts drain away from your foundation. If possible, extend the bottom of the downspout away from your home by at least 6 feet.
Removing Yard Waste
√ Consider composting leaves, sticks, grass cuttings and other yard waste instead of burning them or putting them in a landfill. Burning yard waste may not be legal in your area, and puts your home at risk of fire. You can also contact your local sanitation department for the best way to get rid of yard debris.
To learn more about homeowners insurance and other specialty or auto products, visit www.AAA.com/Insurance, or your local AAA branch office.
As upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 862,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.