Lawn Mowing Safety
Mowing the lawn is something many of us do all the time, and it’s probably become a routine you do on autopilot. But there are a number of things that can go wrong when you do this seemingly harmless task. As a home and business security systems company in Dallas-Fort Worth, safety is our number one priority. The following tips can help you stay safe as you take care of your lawn this summer:
Protect your body from injury, sun damage, insect bites, and other irritants
Always wear thick-soled, close-toed shoes when mowing or doing work on your mower. Wear sunscreen and long pants, long sleeves, and a hat with a wide brim. Wear insect repellent to avoid bites from mosquitoes and other bugs and the diseases they may carry. Before starting to mow be sure your lawn is free of rocks, sticks, glass, nails, and any other debris that could obstruct the mower’s path or become a projectile if kicked up by the blades. Even after doing this it is a good idea to wear goggles to protect your eyes, and have a first aid kit nearby in case you need it.
Avoid dehydration and heat stroke by drinking lots of water or sports drinks that will help maintain your electrolyte levels. Drinks that are sugary or contain alcohol will dehydrate your body even more. If it is particularly hot outside, take frequent breaks in a shady spot. Know the signs of heat-related illness, which include dizziness, rapid pulse, confusion, nausea, headaches, and extremely high body temperature.
Protect your hearing with earplugs or headphones. If you have to raise your voice over the noise of your mower to speak to someone an arm’s length away, the noise may be enough to damage your ears.
Learn how to thoroughly operate the mower and any accessories before using them. Read the instruction manual, and know where the controls are and how they function. Be sure the mower is in good working order and that all guards and safety devices are properly mounted. If your mower runs on gasoline, never fill it up while the machine is running or still hot. Store gasoline outside, away from your house, in an approved container. Never refuel a lawn mower inside, and keep gasoline away from any sparks or flames. If your mower is electric, make sure the cord or battery is in good shape before use, without kinks, tears, or corrosion. Keep electrical cords away from water, and be sure that extension cords are rated for outdoor use and are the correct gauge for the mower’s electrical capacity.
Before doing work on the mower or trying to clear jams in the blades, make certain the mower is off and cool. Be sure the blades have stopped moving and the mower is unplugged, if applicable. Never leave a running lawn mower unattended.
Keep children and pets inside while you mow. Never let them ride on a riding mower. More than 800 children are injured each year from being run over by lawn mowers, either because they fell off or they approached the mower without being seen by the operator. Many more children receive burns or other injuries from lawn mowers each year. Never assume children will stay in the same place, and be extra cautious when backing up or mowing around corners, shrubs, and other obstacles that may block your view.
Keeping your lawn neat and healthy is a point of pride for many people, but keeping yourself and other people safe is even more important. We hope you find these tips useful as you work outside this summer!