7 Simple Lawn Mower Safety Tips

My Garden Life
July 26, 2021
Table of Contents
A yard should be a place of relaxation, a safe space to enjoy some downtime. But keeping it tidy takes a little work, and one of the most common tasks required is surprisingly hazardous.
An astonishing 80,000 people wind up in US emergency rooms each year, after sustaining injuries while mowing their yard. And what’s worse, a large proportion of these injuries are to children, and there are even tragic fatalities every year.
Thankfully, following a few simple lawn mower safety tips will ensure you and your family stay healthy.

1. Clear Your Lawn Before Mowing

beautiful house with branches strewn about the front lawn
Before starting to mow, go over your yard and check for sticks, stones, empty cans and any other items which could obstruct your mower. If foreign bodies are caught up in the fast-revolving blades, they can turn into dangerous projectiles without warning. And you can’t rely on your mower’s protective shields to keep you out of danger.

2. Dress Appropriately When Cutting Your Grass

barefoot woman starting up a lawn mower
A warm and sunny day may be ideal for mowing, but you should avoid tackling the chore in shorts and flip-flops. Wear strong jeans or work pants to avoid leg cuts from flying debris. Also wear sturdy shoes to protect your toes and feet from running-over accidents.

3. Reduce Noise Levels When Mowing by Wearing Ear Protection

two types of ear protection: ear muffs and baffled ear plugs
Even with the lowest-powered lawn mower, the noise can be dangerous for your ears, especially when mowing a large yard where the volume is sustained for long periods. Always wear ear protection to prevent hearing damage, but remember to pay extra attention to your surroundings as you’ll be less likely to hear people or animals around you.
Pro-tip: If you opt for an electric mower, instead of a gas-powered mower they run much quieter.

4. Use Eye Protection to Avoid Flying Debris

woman wearing ear and eye protection while operating a garden tiller
For similar reasons, always wear protective goggles or a wraparound visor. Even tiny fragments can be dangerous if they’re sent flying through the air at high speeds, and you’ll almost certainly not see them coming.

5. Check the Lawn Mower Fuel Level Before Starting the Engine

gloved hands checking the fuel level in a lawn mower
Make sure your fuel tank is full before you start mowing. Exhaust pipes can be hotter than boiling water. While this isn’t enough heat to spark a fire, it’ll still give you a painful burn if you brush against hot metal when refilling the tank.
Proper maintenance and use of your lawn mower will help ensure that you are operating safely. Educate yourself on how your specific lawn mower operates and check this list for additional Lawn Mower Safety tips to keep you and others safe while mowing.  

6. Only Refuel Lawn Mowers Outdoors

Man with gas can putting fuel in a lawn mower.
Never refill your mower’s gas tank inside the garage or any other enclosed space. The fumes are highly flammable, and it only takes a spark to risk a nasty flash burn. Always refuel your mower in the open air to stop the fumes from building up. And if you do run out of fuel during mowing, make sure you wait a few minutes before refilling to let the machinery cool.

7. Kids and Lawn Mowing Safety

Boy mowing overgrown lawn

It’s a traditional part of summer to pay a teen to cut your grass. But, make sure all youngsters are properly supervised until you’re certain they can behave responsibly. This is not only for their own safety, but to protect you against legal issues if someone has an accident on your property.

Keep children who have not yet reached their teens away from lawn mowers altogether; the risks are simply too great.

You can’t avoid the job of cutting the grass. But there’s no need to risk turning a chore into a crisis if you follow these simple tips. Want to learn more about how to keep your grass lush and healthy? Check out this article to discover how you can Have the Greenest Lawn on the Block.

watering backyard lawn with a sprinkler attached to a garden hose


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