Learning Center

Lawnmower Safety Tips

Use caution when cutting grass.

man mowing lawn

Whether your lawn is Kentucky Bluegrass, a prairie restoration or a combination of the two, there’s always work required to maintain it. Chances are good that some of that work will involve a lawnmower.

Lawnmowers come in all shapes and sizes but have one element in common – they all have sharp, fast-moving blades. Although they do a great job cutting grass, those blades can cause serious injury – or death. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, some 72,000 people are treated each year in hospital emergency rooms for lawnmower injuries, and an average of 90 people are killed each year in accidents related specifically to riding mowers.

Don’t let a lawnmower accident ruin your dream of having the perfect lawn. Here are some tips for lawnmower safety:

  • Read your owners manual and know how every feature works.
  • Only use lawnmowers with an automatic blade brake that stops the mower blade if a handle is released.
  • Never leave a running mower unattended.
  • Don’t allow children younger than 12 to operate a push mower.
  • Don’t allow children younger than 16 to operate a riding mower.
  • Wear sturdy shoes when mowing the lawn. Never wear sandals or go barefoot.
  • Remove objects from the lawn to prevent them from being thrown from the mower.
  • Don’t pull lawnmowers backwards. A slip could cause the mower to run over your foot.
  • Turn the mower off and wait for the blades to stop before removing the grass catcher or unclogging the discharge chute.
  • Any time you need to reach under the mower or make repairs, disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent accidental starts.
  • Only use a stick or broom handle (or something similar) to remove debris from lawnmowers. 
  • Don’t give children rides on lawnmowers.
  • Make sure children are not in the yard while a lawnmower is being used.
  • With a riding mower, drive up and down slopes, not across, to prevent a rollover.
  • With a push mower, travel across, not up and down, to prevent the mower from rolling backward over your feet.
  • Properly maintain or service lawnmowers so they are in good working order.

Having the lawn of your dreams not only looks great, it’s rewarding as well. Don’t let an unnecessary – and preventable – injury take your dream away.

In addition to looking great, a well maintained lawn can increase the value of your home. For more information about fully protecting your home, contact your local American Family Insurance agent.

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