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How to stay safe while enjoying your garden in summer time

barbecue-garden-summerWith summer now in full swing, it’s no surprise that a lot of us are heading out into our garden and reaching for the neglected barbeque for a great outdoor feast. However it’s important to keep both you and your family safe whilst using your garden or outdoor space.

The good weather often encourages those of us that are less keen gardeners to reach for the spade and garden tools. In the colder rainy months, many people don’t spend as much time tending to their garden, so when summer rolls around it can look a little untidy.

Caution 1

If you don’t regularly use your outdoor electrical appliances, they may not be in the best shape.

  • Always check cables and inspect your garden appliances for broken or damaged parts before plugging in and switching on
  • Take care if you using an extension cable set up to power your appliances and ensure it is suitable for outdoor use
  • Use a residual current device (RCD) when operating electrically powered tools and mowers. These cut the flow of power when the cable or flex is cut through accidentally, protecting you from serious injury.
  • Never use electrical appliances during wet or damp weather conditions
  • Always wear rubber soled shoes and sturdy gloves when handling heavy duty electrical items in the garden

Caution 2

If you fancy a spot of al fresco dining, it is important to thoroughly examine your barbeque and equipment before use. This is vital due to the likely months of not using these items over cold winter seasons. If your BBQ has been left dormant, ensure it has a full “MOT” before you crack out the charcoal. Check it is in full working order and has not suffered from any issues such as rust or corrosion. Place the BBQ unit on a flat surface away from any shrubs or overhanging plants that could present a fire risk.

Caution 3

It is easy to become distracted when out in the garden enjoying the good weather, especially if you have family and friends round. However a BBQ is a dangerous piece of equipment if not supervised. You should never leave a lit barbeque unattended, as well as a having a bucket of sand or water nearby should the flames get out of control.

Caution 4

Ensure you are aware of the correct cooking techniques for a barbeque as there is a sharp increase in food poisoning cases over the summer months. This is mainly down to undercooked food or cross contamination between raw and cooked meats. Keep a separate set of utensils and plates for dealing with raw meat and never use these to handle cooked items. Always thoroughly check meat to make sure it is cooked through properly, rather than simply being charred on the outside. Chicken should never be pink inside and meat juices should run clear.

This is the third instalment of the safety guides from the experts over at JR Wood.

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