Buying an electric lawn mower seems like the perfect solution for cutting that little patch of grass in your backyard. No more odiferous cans of gasoline in the shed, repetitive yanking on a recalcitrant pull start cord, smelly exhaust–ugh.
An electric power mower doesn’t have any of these problems. In addition, it’s so easy to use that a child could do it. Therein lies the problem: a mower is not an electric scooter. It has sharp blades whirring at a breathless pace. Safety is paramount Here are some safety tips that might prove helpful:
Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeves, pants, eyewear, gloves, a hat and earplugs. An electric mower will throw small stones a surprising distance with great force. A mower can throw poo if you have a dog and don’t notice a pile before it’s too late. It’s important to keep kids and pets away, so they don’t get hit by a maverick rock or get in the way during the mowing process.
Only mow grass. Watch out for sprinkler heads. Be mindful around windows, cars, and watch carefully for the rocks that might get flipped by the mower blade and break them. Always be mindful of the electrical cord.
Don’t mow weeds or debris. Debris translates to a mower repair bill. This means branches, trash, bits of string, wire, or cord (which can wind around the blades), clippings from trees, etc. Granite or wood chips will throw, so mowing them isn’t a good idea, either.
Wear good shoes. Flip-flops, sandals, or flat shoes might slip on grass. If you have shoelaces, make sure they don’t come untied.
Use an outlet is a GFCI which has been recently tested.
Mow across slopes, not up and down them. Mowing up and down slopes offers the mower the opportunity to roll downhill.
Push, don’t pull, the mower. If you pull and trip, your mower can roll right over you
Never mow wet grass or around puddles, in the rain, or near a running hose or sprinkler. Remember, your mower is an electric appliance and should be treated as such.
Mow sober. Mowing is only safe if you’re in full command of your faculties. You can celebrate after the grass is cut and the mower is put away.
Never mow in the dark. It isn’t just a matter of being able to see where you’re going, which is also important. Mowing in the dark offers the potential for mowing over hazards.
Never let others use the mower unless you’re supremely confident in their abilities. This includes children, your less-than-sober neighbor, or your roommate who is wearing flip flops.
Wear sunscreen. The sun in Phoenix is intense during the mowing season, and once you start mowing, you might be so focused that you don’t notice how hot it’s getting and burn.
Don’t forget to clean your mower when you’re finished (after it’s unplugged, of course), and store it in a dry place.