HOME SWEET HOME: Staying safe during fall clean up

HOME SWEET HOME: Staying safe during fall clean up

In the summer time, it is much easier to let outside maintenance get away from you. Going to the pool and family vacations take over and the yard, with all the greenery and flowers, doesn’t look that bad anyway. However in the fall, there are some essential clean up measures that need to be taken.

Feel free to enjoy Halloween candy and a warm cup of joe, but only after safely checking off these three essential tasks provided by State Farm Insurance experts:

  1. Clean your gutters

Cleaning the leaves and debris out of your gutters is crucial before the temperature drops and the (possible) snow comes. Here’s how to do it safely:

  • Alert your family or a neighbor that you’ll be cleaning the gutters, and check in with them at a planned time.
  • Practice ladder safety–always keep one hand on the ladder, and avoid reaching too far. Enlist the help of a family member or neighbor to hold the ladder base.
  • Wear gloves to protect your hands from potentially harmful bacteria or thorns.
  • If you have to get on the roof to access part of your gutters, wear nonslip shoes.
  1. Rake the leaves

You’ll want to make sure to remove debris and leaves from your yard as the season changes. If left, they can kill plants and lawn that lay underneath. Even with a simple task such as this, youll want to be careful and follow these tips from a State Farm expert:

  • Warm up your body for 10 minutes before you start raking.
  • Wear gloves and long sleeves to protect against any thorns or poisonous plants that you might collect.
  • Avoid twisting from your back to rake in a new direction; turn your feet first.
  • Use your knees when lifting, and stop working if you feel pain in your back.
  • Wear shoes with strong traction–wet leaves can be slick.
  • Stay hydrated and take frequent breaks.
  1. Trim branches

Fall storms and winds can cause lots of low hanging branches and snapped off tree limbs. It is important to keep your yard’s trees in good shape, literally.

  • Choose a tool that’s made for trimming, such as hand pruners, loppers or a pruning saw. Make sure the tool is sharp.
  • Follow proper trimming procedure according to the size of the limb. Check pruning guidelines (widely available on the internet) for more guidance on pruning to achieve healthy growth.

Wear gloves and long sleeves to protect your hands and arms, and follow the guidelines for ladder safety above.

For more State Farm tips and tricks, check back soon at Home Sweet Home.

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