Dad’s A to Z Guide to Lawn Mower Safety

Lawn Mowing Safety Tips 101: The Essential Guide

A lawn mower, like most machines, needs to be used properly to ensure it doesn’t pose any danger to users. If these machines aren’t operated safely, they can cause severe injuries that may require prompt medical attention.  For example, 18,000 people required medical attention after being injured by their lawn mowers.
This is why it is essential to follow safety precautions to ensure you stay out of the hospital. So, what are these safety precautions? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’ll discuss lawn mowing safety tips. Continue reading this lawn mower safety guide to learn how to maintain your machine and protect yourself from any harm.

Are Lawn Mowers Safe?

Lawn mowers are generally safe to use when operated and maintained properly. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission an agency that monitors injuries caused by household items — over 18,000 people required medical attention for injuries caused by lawn mowers. Lawn mower blades spin rapidly and can severely injure users if proper care isn’t taken. These rapidly rotating blades can also eject debris like sticks and pebbles.

That’s why observing proper lawn mowing safety tips is necessary. Lawn mowers pique the interest of many children because what shiny machine doesn’t? Therefore, parents and guardians must ensure children under 16 do not operate lawn mowers considering the safety risks they pose. Apart from the ease of maintenance, there are other key factors to consider when purchasing a new lawn.

Lawn Mower Safety Tips

Here are seven lawn mower safety tips to protect you from any lawn-mower-related injuries.

1. Read the instruction manual

We know instruction manuals aren’t always a fun read, and it can be tempting to turn on your mower and start mowing. However, we guarantee that reading the machine’s manual will give you a better understanding of how to operate the lawn mower. Don’t know where your lawn mower’s manual is? Fortunately, you can find most lawn mower user manuals online. Simply search for your lawn mower’s model number and read the instructions online.

2. Prepare the mowing area

Debris such as rocks, sticks, etc., can appear on your lawn. Pieces of debris can get stuck in the mower’s blades and get ejected in any direction. This can cause injury to the operator or passersby. For this reason, it is essential to inspect and remove any debris that can cause injury. 

3. Put on the protective wear

You need to put on proper footwear to protect you from any foreign objects.  Solid footwear is the safest bet for limiting foot injuries from ejected objects. We also recommend wearing long pants to protect your legs. You can complete the look with ear muffs and sunshades to protect your ears from the noisy engine and your eyes from the glaring sun rays.

4. Watch out for burns

The heat from the engine and exhaust can cause serious burns if you’re not careful. If your bare skin touches any of these hot areas, it can cause injury. That’s why you need to mow in a steady manner with your arms and legs away from any hot parts.  Moreover, when you’re filling the fuel tank, make sure there are no ignition sources, like cigarettes, that can ignite the fuel.

5. Keep away from children

Most experts agree that children under the age of 12 should not use lawn mowers. Also, ensure there are no people or pets near the mowing area to prevent any possible injuries. Furthermore, if you have a teenager old enough to operate a lawn mower, we still recommend supervising them.

6. Handle with caution

Ensure your hands and feet are not near the mower’s blades. Be extra careful when mowing on bumpy or hilly terrain. Ensure the machine is away from you and mow at a safe pace, especially when you’re mowing on tough terrain. In addition, don’t touch the blades. If there’s any debris stuck in your machine, turn off the mower and use another object to remove it.

7. Safely store the mower

Is your lawn cut? Good. But there’s still one more step to go. Ensure you safely return the mower to the shed. Make sure you lower any elevated components that could cause injury to an unknowing person.  Furthermore, switch off the engine, remove the key, and store them. in a safe place. Ensure the keys are out of the reach of inquisitive kids. Also, it would be best to clean up any debris and close the garage or shed securely.
Lawn mower safety tips

Lawn Mowing Safety Maintenance Tips

You should ideally service your lawn mower after mowing for an estimated 25 hours. Alternatively, you can also service it every three months. Luckily, most lawn mowers are easy to maintain and can be done by the average homeowner. So, without further ado, here are eight lawn mower maintenance tips.

1. Engine fogging

If you’re not going to use the mower for an extended period, drain the gas and spray the carburetors and cylinders with fogging oil. Without this, the engine lubricants will evaporate. Moreover, exposure to moisture and air can cause corrosion and other problems.

2. Sharpen the lawn mower blades

Many homeowners do not understand the importance of this task.  Ignoring your mower’s blades will cause dull blades and lengthen your mowing time. Not only should you inspect the blades for rust and warping, but you should also sharpen the blades twice every season to extend their lifespan. Furthermore, inspect the blades for any dents and rust. If you notice any dents or rust, that’s an indicator that you need to sharpen the mower’s blades

3. Replace the spark plugs

The purpose of spark plugs in a lawn mower is the same as in any other vehicle with an engine. These engine components act as an ignition source for gasoline. When they get faulty, it can lead to the engine not turning on. Therefore, ensure you inspect your machine’s spark plugs every two months. Other symptoms of a faulty spark plug include excessive fuel consumption, poor engine performance, and a dirty or chipped spark plug.

4. Cleaning the lawn mower’s deck

Cleaning the lawn mower’s deck is always a good idea. We recommend cleaning the mower’s deck once a month. However, you can also clean it after every use. Keeping the lawn mower’s deck clean reduces the likelihood of the lawn mower rusting or corroding from the inside.
As grass clippings, debris, and dirt accumulate on the lawn mower’s deck, they form a barrier that inhibits the grass from staying straight underneath the lawn mower. This will lead to a shabbily cut lawn.
Moreover, this barrier of debris can obstruct the rotation of the blades and put unnecessary strain on the blades, engine, and other parts. So, once you’re done mowing your lawn, turn the machine over and clean the deck. This simple step will save you money on repairs.

5. Use fuel with an 87-octane rating or higher

The type of gas you use can affect the mower’s effectiveness and longevity. Gas is rated based on the number of fillers in the gasoline, so octane 91 gas has fewer fillers than octane 87 gas. Ensure the gas you put in your lawn mower has an octane level of at least 87.
This ensures that the gas meets the required specifications for use in standard motor vehicles. This will lower the possibility of engine damage. Some homeowners prefer to use premium-grade gasoline in their lawn mowers. However, this isn’t usually necessary.
The type of gas recommended by the owner’s manual is the best for your mower. However, using premium grade gasoline during cool seasons, such as early spring and late fall, is an effective way to keep the engine functioning.

6. Examine the flywheel

A flywheel is a component of the lawn mower’s engine that stores momentum from the combustion process to keep the machine’s crankshaft turning. The flywheel also cools the engine by blowing air around the engine. If your machine’s flywheel doesn’t work, the engine could overheat or fail to start. Signs that your machine’s flywheel doesn’t work include:
  • An engine that stalls

  • A burning odor from the engine.

We recommend inspecting the flywheel at the start and end of each lawn maintenance season. Look out for chipped fins, cracks, minor dents, etc. Ensure you disconnect the spark plug before inspecting the flywheel.

7. Inspect and change the air filter

The lawn mower’s air filter protects the engine by catching dirt, or other debris. However, the air filter can’t trap too much debris, so it’s essential to change it once in a while. Some mowers have removable and washable air filters. Generally, we recommend replacing the lawn mower’s air filter once a year to ensure the engine keeps working smoothly. 
A clogged air filter can cause the engine to backfire and reduce the engine’s power output. Moreover, a dirty air filter can cause strange noises and odors. If you notice any of these symptoms, turn off the machine and purchase a new air filter. Fortunately, air filters are affordable and easy to replace. 

8. Don’t forget to change the oil

Changing the oil in your lawn mower is one of the most important maintenance activities. Oil lubricates the lawn mower’s moving parts, and a lack of lubrication can cause the engine to seize and fail.  Before using your mower, check the oil level and top it up if the level is low. If the oil appears dirty, drain it and replace it with fresh oil. We recommend changing the engine oil at least twice every mowing season to ensure the machine remains lubricated.
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Lawn mowers are useful tools that help maintain a properly manicured lawn. However, these tools can be a safety hazard, so it is essential to observe all the necessary precautions before, during, and after use. Hopefully, this guide has enlightened you about helpful lawn mower safety tips to ensure you use these machines properly. So, follow this essential guide to ensure you and other people don’t suffer from injuries. 

2. How fast can a lawn mower throw debris?

Lawn mower blades spin at about 200 miles per hour and can launch debris such as rocks and pebbles at high speeds of up to 150 miles per hour. The speed of the debris can easily hurt you or other people, so it’s best to follow our guide and clear the mowing area before you start mowing.

3. When should I change my lawn mower blade?

Evaluate the lawn mower blade during routine maintenance. If there are any cracks or blade damage, sharpening it will not help; instead, replace it. Replace the blade every year or so. It may last longer if you are diligent about sharpening it regularly.
So, ensure you follow the regular maintenance protocol to get the most out of the blades. Lawnmowers are effective tools when used properly.  We recommend observing lawn mowing safety precautions to ensure you don’t get hurt.