Maintaining lawn equipment is very important to get a long, healthy life out of it. More importantly, taking the proper safety precautions while maintaining your lawn equipment is necessary to let you have a long, healthy life. All too often, lawn equipment maintenance at home can end in disaster due to poor safety precautions – especially when flammable materials such as chemicals and gasoline are involved. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when working with these hazardous and volatile mixtures.
You’ll need to keep fresh air flowing through your work area to keep all fumes from settling down. Some fumes are merely annoying, while others can be toxic in high amounts. Having improper ventilation can lead to a light-headed feeling or worse – every year, thousands of folks fall ill due to carbon monoxide poisoning, which can occur from constantly running an engine in an enclosed space. Sometimes, this can even be fatal, so never run an engine without having the ability to vent fumes.
You should never store gasoline inside your house, but even in a detached workshop, this can be a major hazard. Especially in the winter time when you drain your equipment and have gasoline sitting around for long periods of time, always make sure to keep the containers closed, and ventilate the area when conducting the draining. Fumes can build up and be ignited easily – portable workshop heaters are a perfect ignition source, and are in heavy use right now. So keep the gasoline away from the ignition sources.
In addition to the flammability and toxic fumes, aerosols have the extra hidden danger of contents under pressure. An aerosol can that is heated will release the pressure through the weakest point. If it’s the top end of the can, the aerosol can will launch like a rocket, making a potentially deadly projectile. The other option is for the can to explode, which creates flying metal fragments that can cause severe injury.
Store Rags Properly
This is something people often forget about. A rag used to wipe up spills or wipe down equipment is still just as much of a hazard as whatever you wiped up, especially when it comes to gasoline. Don’t just toss your rags in a pile in the corner of your workshop. Air them out and let them dry before washing them or storing them. Be just as cautious around these rags as you would be around an open container – an errant spark will ignite them just as easily.
As tempting as it may be during these cold winter months to work on equipment or store chemicals inside, keep the safety of you and your family in mind and make sure to store everything safely. Many accidents come from us being too comfortable around these fuels and chemicals and forgetting to take the proper precautions. Don’t let that happen to you this winter.