Using an electric hedge trimmer is much more efficient than relying on manual tools. But, as with all electrical appliances, it’s important to take relevant precautions to prevent injury and other safety issues from occurring when using yours.
Hedge trimmer safety
Make sure you get the job done right and protect yourself and your loved ones from danger by following our simple hedge trimmer safety checklist.
- Make sure you buy your hedge trimmer from a reputable dealer, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
- It’s important to register a new hedge trimmer with the manufacturer so that you can be contacted if a safety notice or recall is required. It also makes it easier for you to return a faulty product or order a repair. To register any of your appliances, regardless of age, visit Register My Appliance.
- Use our free online checker to see if you have any recalled electrical items.
- Check that your appliance has a UK plug; if it doesn’t, don’t try to use a UK travel adaptor. Get in touch with the retailer and ask them to fit a UK plug.
- Do regular checks of the plug and socket for burn marks, sounds of ‘arcing’ (buzzing or crackling) or if it feels too hot to touch. If you have fuses blowing or circuit-breakers tripping then contact a registered electrician to investigate.
- Any socket you plan to use to plug in a hedge trimmer should have RCD (residual current device) Protection. An RCD is a life-saving device that protects against dangerous electric shock and reduces the risk of electrical fires. If you don’t have RCD protection in your fuse box for your sockets, consider installing an RCD socket or plug to protect you and your property from serious appliance faults.
- If you have to use an extension lead make sure it is suitable for outdoor use, is fitted with a thermal cut-out and is fully unwound before using it.
Using your hedge trimmer safely
- Ensure pets and children are kept away from the area you’re working in.
- Don’t use your hedge trimmer when it’s raining.
- Wear suitable, non-slip footwear whilst using the hedge trimmer; it’s also advisable to wear gloves and safety goggles.
- Remove any loose debris from the hedge before you get started.
- Keep the cord behind you and far out of the way during use.
- Always hold the hedge trimmer with both hands, well out in front of you.
- If you encounter a tough patch of growth, don’t force the hedge trimmer over it as it could rebound and cause injury.
- Make sure you always maintain secure footing and avoid overreaching.
- If you notice a burning smell or any unusual noises, switch the hedge trimmer off immediately and contact the retailer and/or manufacturer.
- If a fire does start, don't try to fight the fire. Get to safety and call 999 immediately.
- Always turn off the hedge trimmer of at the socket or unplug before cleaning it, and follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions carefully.
- Store your hedge trimmer in a cool, dry place.