Dads do lawnmowers. Dads do grills. This Father’s Day, give your dad the information that will help him do what he does safely.
Each year, about 110 people die and about 87,000 people are treated in emergency rooms from injuries associated with power lawnmowers. This includes walk-behind mowers, riding mowers, lawn tractors and garden tractors.
If you’re buying dad a new walk-behind rotary lawn mower, consider these factors. Then remind him about safety:
- Fill the fuel tank before starting the engine. NEVER refuel when the mower is running or hot.
- Pick up twigs, rocks and other debris before you mow. The whole family can help with this. Just make sure that children clear the area before the actual mowing begins.
- Cut dry grass, not wet grass. Wet clippings could jam the rotary blade and shut down the engine. When you need to remove clippings from the discharge chute, STOP the mower.
- Push the mower forward. Don’t pull it backward.
- On lawn slopes, if you are using a walk-behind rotary mower, mow across the slope. If you drive a riding mower, drive up and down the slope, not across it.
- Check safety features often and repair or replace them if needed. Do not remove any safety devices from a mower.
- When using an electric mower, organize your work so you first cut the area closest to the electrical outlet and then gradually move away. This will minimize your chance of running over the power cord and getting electrocuted.
As for the grill, here’s a maintenance and safety checklist for gas grills. Give him these key points:
- Check the grill’s hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks. The hose or tubing shouldn’t have any sharp bends.
- Hoses need to be as far from the hot surfaces as possible. Don’t let grease drip on them.
- Any time you reconnect a grill to the LP gas container, or if you smell gas, check for leaks. To do this, open the gas supply valve fully and apply a soapy solution (one part water, one part liquid detergent) with a brush at the connection points. If you see bubbles, there’s a leak. Turn off the gas, tighten the connection and test again. If you can’t stop the leak, replace the leaking parts.
- Do NOT light a grill if you detect a leak.
On average, about 3,600 people are treated in emergency rooms each year from injuries associated with gas, charcoal or propane grills. Of the 12 deaths each year associated with grills, about two-thirds are from carbon monoxide poisoning when a grill is used in an enclosed space like inside a house.
When grilling, always follow these safety tips:
- Only use a grill at least 10 feet away from your house or any building. Do not grill in a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, or under any surface that will burn.
- Never leave a grill unattended.
- Keep children away from the grill. The outside surface can burn when touched.
- Always follow the instructions that came with the grill.
All of this advice is meant to ensure that dad doesn’t spend Father’s Day in the emergency room. Have a happy and safe Father’s Day!