A well manicured garden with a pond is a lovely place to relax in, especially during the summertime. Each year, however, many people are injured and even killed in their gardens because they have failed to take the proper precautions where safety is concerned. Here are some basic tips to ensure that you minimise the risks when you’re out and about in your garden.
Using Electrically Powered Tools
Power driven tools and mowers need to be handled with great care. The vast majority of gardening equipment which is power driven are tools which are designed to cut in some way so they have sharp blades so you need to take extreme care. Useful safety advice includes:
- Making sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and that you feel confident about using the equipment. If you don’t, hire an expert
- Wear recommended protective clothing and footwear and things like helmets, gloves, facemasks and goggles
- Prevent electrocution by ensuring you use a residual current device (RCD) when using electrically driven lawn mowers and other power driven gardening equipment
Chemicals And Pesticides
Make sure you follow manufacturer’s instructions to the letter if you are using any gardening chemicals or pesticides and never transfer their contents to an unmarked container. Always ensure that children are fully aware of the dangers where chemicals and pesticides are concerned and that you keep all containers secure and locked up in a shed, garage or some other place away from children when they’re not being used.
Barbecues And Bonfires
Make sure that you locate any barbecue or bonfire well away from fences, trees and sheds and that it’s supervised by an adult at all times. Also ensure that any bonfire you have fully complies with your local environmental health department’s rules.
General Garden Maintenance
Minimise things like trips, slips and falls by making sure you keep your garden well-maintained. Uneven paving, slippery moss and poorly maintained equipment such as faulty or worn ladders are all primary causes of hundreds of injuries in the garden each year.
A pond of some other kind of water garden feature can really add to the aesthetic appeal of your garden. However, water gardens or any kind of water feature can be dangerous or even fatal, especially where young children are concerned. Where a pond is concerned, if you have young children, secure it by fixing rigid mesh or a metal grille to the surface of it so that children cannot fall into it. Pond nets alone aren’t sufficient. Any covering you use for a pond should be able to withstand the weight of your child so pond nets are not suitable. Alternatively, fence off the pond ensuring that the design does not allow children to get close to it. Better still, some pond safety experts would recommend that if your children are below the age of 6, you shouldn’t have a pond and you should fill it in, perhaps turning it into a sandpit until they are a bit older. Whatever you decide, NEVER leave young children unsupervised in the garden where you have a pond – it can take a split second for a child to fall into the pond and drown.
Remember, that it’s not just ponds which can be dangerous. Any kind of water garden feature such as a fountain, for example can result in a child drowning. The same goes for things like paddling pools or water butts which collect rainwater. You need to ensure that young children are constantly supervised in a paddling pool and that any water butt is secure and positioned in a place where children cannot pull it over or fall into it.
Garden and pond safety can only be touched upon here but if you require more advice and information, you should look at our website ‘Safe Gardening’.