According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, each year 800 children are run over by riding mowers or small tractors; 75 people are killed, and 20,000 injured. One in five deaths involves a child.
Be prepared to be safe. Before you begin mowing this year, read these safety tips.
- Fill your gas tank before you start, while the engine is still cold. Wipe up all spills. And never smoke near gasoline.
- Clear the area of rocks, branches, wires, and other objects.
- Dress properly. Slippery shoes and loose or dangling clothing can be dangerous. Eye protection is also important.
- Don't allow children near the mower; you'll prevent the possibility of their getting injured by flying objects.
- Keep your hands and feet away from mower's blades. Never reach under the mower for any reason while the mower is in operation. Make all adjustments with the motor off.
- Just as you shouldn't drink and drive, you shouldn't drink and mow. Don't operate a mower when your reflexes are impaired by any substance.
- Drink plenty of liquids and take occasional breaks while mowing on unseasonably hot days to help avoid heat illness.
Other items to remember if you have an electric power lawn mover:
- Don't use on wet grass.
- Use an extension cord designed for outdoor use and rated for the power needs of your mower.
- Reduce the risk of cutting the cord while you're mowing by starting to mow in the area nearest the electrical outlet, then mow away from the outlet so the power cord will be behind you.
- If you do hit a foreign object or have a mower malfunction, remember to turn off the mower and disconnect the power cord before inspecting for damage.