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 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.
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 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.
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How to Prevent a Fire
There are many things that you can do to prevent a fire from happening. Mow your lawn regularly so that there isn’t a lot of dry grass to catch fire. This is particularly important if you live in a warm, dry climate.
You should also begin mowing near your home and mow outward, as this will create a firebreak and could save your property in the event of a fire. Be careful when putting fuel into your lawnmower, and never put gas into a lawnmower that feels hot. Once you’ve added fuel, make sure you put the gasoline container away in a safe place. It would help if you also kept the lawnmower clean of fuel at all times.
Before you start mowing, you should first remove any rocks from your garden. It’s also a good idea to stop periodically to clean out grass that has become lodged in the lawnmower’s blades. You can clear it out with a hose, don’t put your hands near the blades, especially if they are hot. If you need to touch a lawnmower’s blades, make sure that the spark plug has been disconnected.
Also, as a rule of thumb, you should always keep a fire extinguisher readily accessible.
featured image credit: Tyler Silvest