For many, the backyard is a place to relax, have fun or entertain friends and family. However keeping your backyard safe and enjoyable requires time and maintenance. The following are safety tips from the Home Safety Council to prevent injuries in the yard.

Lawnmowers
- Don’t wear clothes that can get caught in a mower’s blade.
- Be sure to check your lawn for broken sticks, stones and toys or anything else that can shoot out from under the mower. A mower can throw an object at 200 mph, causing serious injuries.
- Always store all mowing and garden tools in a safe place

Grills
- Place your grill at least 10 feet away from other objects, including the house and any shrub or bushes
- Be sure to stay by the grill when cooking
- Use starter fluid made for barbeque grills when starting a fire in a charcoal grill.
- Always check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line to be sure its working properly and not leaking – if you detect a leak, immediately turn off the gas. Do not attempt to light the grill until the leak is fixed.
- Never bring a grill inside your home or garage. This is a fire and carbon monoxide poisoning hazard.

Pools
- Children should always be supervised. Installing pool fencing that is at least 5 feet high and equipped with self-locking gates is recommended for families with small children
- Be aware of building permit requirements, zoning requirements, electrical clearances and utility easements, and insurance policies

Decks and Balconies
- Be on the lookout for split or rotting wood
- Replace wobbly handrails or guardrails
- Always keep steps and paths clear

Take some time to check your outdoor areas for potential safety hazards. For more information visit www.homesafetycoucil.org