How to Put Out a Lawnmower Fire

Would you know what to do if your lawnmower caught fire? If you regularly use a lawnmower, it’s a good idea to be prepared for this eventuality.

You can do several things to put out a lawnmower fire, and it will depend on what type of lawnmower you own. This article will look at how to put out a lawnmower fire and also how to reduce the likelyhood of a fire from occurring in the first place.

Lawnmower Fires

Lawnmower fires are relatively common, and if they aren’t correctly contained, they can cause widespread devastation.

In 2015 a wildfire was started in Oregon. The fire spread due to dry grass in the area and cost millions of dollars to fight. The fire spread across 26,000 acres and put peoples’ and animals’ lives in danger; it threatened over one hundred and fifty homes.

Gas Lawnmowers

Many things can go wrong with a lawnmower, and fuel hazards are the main cause of fire in gas-powered lawnmowers.

If the fuel starts to leak onto the motor, this can quickly cause a fire. Fuel vapors or gas leaks around hot mufflers can also cause a fire.

If you have a petrol or diesel lawnmower, you should be very careful if it catches fire. The first thing to do in this event is to remain calm.

Move everyone as far away from the lawnmower as possible. This is very important as the fuel could cause the lawnmower to explode.

It’s therefore not a good idea to get too close to the mower, and you shouldn’t attempt to put out the fire yourself. Instead, call the emergency services.

Electric Lawnmowers

Electric lawnmowers are also likely to catch fire, and many companies recall lawnmowers if there’s been a problem. Electrical faults can cause a fire, including circuit boards, which have short-circuited and started a fire.

Electric lawnmowers can catch fire if they are being used to cut very long, dry grass. In these cases, the dry grass gets stuck around the mower deck and starts a fire. This can burn the machine and also set the grass or whole garden on fire. It’s likely that this was the cause of the Oregon wildfire in 2015.

Another cause of fire is due to rock strikes. This is when the lawnmowers metal blades, hit a rock. As the blades are moving so fast, in some cases up to 200 mph, a spark is caused when a stone is hit, and this can ignite dry grass.

How you deal with an electrical fire depends on its severity. As with any fire, you should keep people away from it, especially children. If the fire is small, you can turn the power off and smother it with a fire blanket or damp cloth. Larger fires or fires that have spread due to dry grass are trickier to put out, and it’s best to call the fire brigade.

See Also: Riding Lawn Mower for Hills

How to Prevent a Fire

Fire Prevention Tips for Lawnmower Safety

  1. Regular Lawn Maintenance: Keep your lawn well-maintained by mowing it regularly, especially in warm, dry climates. This reduces the risk of dry grass that can easily catch fire.
  2. Strategic Mowing: Start mowing close to your home and work outward. This creates a firebreak, potentially saving your property in case of a fire.
  3. Fueling Caution: Be cautious when refueling your lawnmower. Never add gas to a hot lawnmower. Store the gasoline container in a safe place and ensure the lawnmower remains free of fuel spillage.
  4. Rock Removal: Prior to mowing, remove rocks from your garden to avoid potential hazards.
  5. Blade Maintenance: Periodically clean grass debris from the lawnmower’s blades using a hose. Avoid putting your hands near hot blades. Disconnect the spark plug before touching them.
  6. Fire Extinguisher: Always have a fire extinguisher within easy reach for added safety.

By following these straightforward tips, you can significantly reduce the risk of lawnmower-related fires and ensure a safer outdoor experience.


featured image creditTyler Silvest