Spring into safety with these seasonal tips

We look forward to more time outdoors as we move into the warmer temperatures of spring. Please read these important reminders on keeping yourself safe. 

Photo of small child watering red tulips using toy watering can

Photo credit: iStock.com/LeManna

Please keep these safety tips in mind this spring and share them with your contacts. Add your own safety tips in the Comments section at the end. (I love reading comments — so don’t be shy!)

Gardening

BC One Call reminds us to Call Before You Dig even if it seems like a really small project. This includes things like putting in a new fence post, planting a small tree, or disturbing the soil in any way. No one wants to cut into utility lines buried close to the surface. Damaging these underground lines can cause serious injuries, property damage, and service disruption.

Garden Safety from Health Canada includes this advice (and much more):

  • Warm up before gardening with some slow stretches, holding each for at least 20 seconds.
  • Remove all rocks, sticks, toys, and tools from the lawn before mowing.
  • Before plugging in any power equipment, make sure the power switch is “off.”
  • Make sure you drink liquids, especially water, when exerting yourself.

Spring cleaning

Remember that cleaning supplies — even those advertised as “green” or “natural” — can include harmful chemicals. See Cleaning Supplies and Household Chemicals from the American Lung Association, for tips, including:

  • Never mix bleach and ammonia because it creates a potentially lethal gas.
  • Read all labels and follow instructions when using cleaning products.
  • Consider safer cleaning alternatives such as baking soda for scrubbing and water with vinegar for cleaning glass.

And before you go out to clean your gutters, please review this information on Ladders from WorkSafeBC. Falling from ladders is a major source of injuries in the construction industry. Be it at home or at work, we need to choose the right ladders and to use them safely.

Hiking and snow sports

North Shore Rescue reminds us to Avoid Getting Lost. Their advice includes:

  • Never hike alone.
  • Tell a friend where you are going.
  • Always carry the 10 essentials.
  • Be prepared for the conditions.

If you’re heading out for some late-season snow sports, check snow forecasts from Avalanche Canada. Also see this March CBC story Warm weather brings special warning for increased avalanche risk in Western Canada.

Flood and disaster readiness

The government of Canada’s Flood Ready website has lots of resources to help you be prepared for potential floods. Here are a few tips to protect your property.

  • Put sealant around basement windows and the base of ground-level doors.
  • Secure furnaces, water heaters, and oil tanks so they won’t tip over in a flood.
  • Use a rain barrel to catch runoff from your roof.

Test your flood preparedness by taking the quiz Are you Flood Ready?

Visit PreparedBC for more information on floods and watch this video they created:

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