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Beware the hidden dangers in your garage or garden shed

Deadly machines aren't found only at construction sites. In fact, some of the deadliest tools and equipment are in almost every household - not to mention every home improvement store and nearly every backyard. Understanding the hazards is critical to using these machines safely.

The biggest culprits in landscaping and lawn care include:

1. Lawnmowers

More than 250,000 people get injured by lawnmowers every year, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Many of them are children. Just last month, a 5-year-old Ohio girl lost her leg after getting run over by a riding mower.

Far too many mowers lack safety features such as automatic shutoffs, throw guards and reverse awareness systems. Riding mowers are especially dangerous given their sheer size and ease of maneuverability. With any mower, the high noise levels can make it difficult to notice when children might be approaching. For this reason, you should keep kids indoors while mowing, and never let them play on or around lawnmowers.

2. Woodchippers

If you've seen the movie Fargo, you're well aware of just how powerful these machines can be (and you might not be able to look at one without cringing at the recollection). Yet many unfortunate souls have suffered similar fates by accident. Every year, dozens of horrific injuries happen due to safety lapses around woodchippers, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Don't use these machines unless you've read the manuals and understand how they work. Always use safety goggles, and never wear loose clothing that could get caught in the chute.

3. Chainsaws

Chainsaws are indispensable for projects like taking down trees. They're among the most common household tools - and among the most dangerous. Every year, more than 30,000 people end up in emergency rooms due to chainsaw accidents.

When using a chainsaw, always wear appropriate safety gear such as gloves, goggles and a hard hat. Maintain control while cutting by never lifting it above waist level. Clear the area of nails, metal scraps and other hazards, and - most importantly - pay attention.

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Ball & Bonholtzer
300 North Lake Avenue Suite 1100
Pasadena, CA 91101

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