Are you using a power hedge trimmer correctly?

A power hedge trimmer can simplify the job of keeping your shrubs in shape. It can also be very dangerous.

"They've got those sharp teeth that can cut branches and twigs that are rather thick and your finger is just about that thickness. So, a hedge trimmer could very seriously injure the user or someone else in the area."

John Drengenberg, director of consumer safety at Underwriters Labs, says make sure both of your hands are on that trimmer.

"It gives you better control of the tool and also keeps your fingers away from what you're cutting. Also, make sure that your extension cord is away from the tool. It's very easy to cut that cord, creating an electrical hazard as well as a hazard for the user," Drengenberg says.

Never leave that hedge trimmer plugged in when you take a break. If there are kids around, they could try to mimic your behavior and turn it on.

And Drengenberg reminds us: electric yard tools should never be used in the rain.

"Not only because they're electric, but also because the user could slip and lose control of the tool, causing a serious injury," Drengenberg adds.

More Info:

Consumer Reports: Power Hedge Trimmers

Consumer Reports: Hedge Trimmer Safety