Monthly Safety Message
The Annapolis Fire Department
Urges Everyone to Practice Outdoor Equipment Safety.
After a particularly challenging winter, the citizens of Annapolis are welcoming the warmth, sights and sounds of spring. Part of the spring welcoming ritual is the preparation and maintenance of the equipment used to beautify our lawns and gardens. The Annapolis Fire Department wants you to be safe when using your lawn and garden equipment. “Yard work is a regular chore in the spring and summer but don’t let that lull you into carelessness,” says Fire Chief David L. Stokes, Sr. The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates approximately 17,000 children require care every year in emergency rooms due to lawn mower accidents.
The Annapolis Fire Department offers the following lawn and garden safety tips:
- Wear sturdy shoes and long pants while mowing.
- Protect your eyes from flying debris by wearing safety glasses or shatter-proof sunglasses.
- Prevent injuries from flying objects, such as stones or toys, by picking up objects from the lawn before mowing.
- While the lawn is being mowed, keep others away to ensure their safety.
- Do not allow children to operate lawn mowers. A good rule: If you're not comfortable with them driving your automobile, you should not allow them to operate a lawn mower - whether it's a walk-behind or a riding mower.
Do not refuel a hot engine; always fill the tank before starting to mow. Walk-Behind Lawn Mowers:
- Mow across a hill (not up and down) to avoid falls. Do not mow on a steep hill.
- Keep the mower flat on the ground. Never lift the mower.
- Shut off the engine when adjusting mower cutting height.
- If you hit something, stop the mower and turn it off. See if the mower is damaged before starting the machine.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for care, maintenance and safety.
- Help the Environment: Mowers equipped with a mulching feature will finely cut and re-cut grass clippings and return them to the turf. These clippings provide moisture and nutrients to keep your yard greener and healthier and reduce yard waste.
- Riding mowers are one-person machines. Never carry passengers or tow children in carts or trailers while mowing.
- Always start the machine from the operator's seat.
- Mow up and down on slopes over 5 degrees - never across.
- Go slowly on hills and around corners to prevent tipping.
- Never operate a riding mower on slopes over 15 degrees.
- Always look down and behind for people and objects before and while, backing up.
- Do not allow a child to operate a riding mower.
- Watch for holes, ditches and embankments.
Help The Environment: Today's outdoor power equipment is powered by cleaner-running, low-emission engines. You can also help the environment by collecting your clippings in a bag attachment and adding to your compost pile.