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Snow Blower Safety Tips to Clip and Use

by | Jan 02, 2018
New Englanders have a can-do attitude about lots of things, including clearing snow from driveways and sidewalks. Yet, sometimes, with feet of snow on the ground, that attitude works best with a snow blower and not a shovel. Here are some snow blower
safety tips from the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute.

  • Review your owner’s manual - Check your owner’s manual for safe handling procedures. Review how to operate the controls. You should be able to shut off your equipment quickly.
  • Check your equipment - The snow blower should be completely powered off when you are checking it over. If you forgot to drain the fuel last winter before storing your snow thrower, drain the gas tank now. Adjust any cables. Check the auger.
  • Put your equipment where you can get to it easily - Move your equipment to a convenient and accessible location, so you can get to it easily when you need it.
  • Fuel Up - Use the correct fuel, as recommended by your equipment's manufacturer. Fill up the fuel tank outside before you start the engine and while the engine is cold. Never add fuel to a running or hot engine. 
  • Tidy the area you intend to clear with your equipment - Snow can sometimes hide objects. Doormats, hoses, balls, toys, boards, wires, and other debris should be removed from the areas you intend to clear. When run over by a snow thrower, these objects may harm the machine or people. 
  • Plan to dress for winter weather - Plan to wear safety glasses, gloves and footwear that can handle cold and slippery surfaces. 
  • KEY SAFETY TIP: Never put your hands inside the auger or chute - Use a clean out tool (or stick) to unclog snow or debris from your snow blower. Your hands should never go inside the auger or chute. 
  • Turn OFF your snow thrower if you need to clear a clog - If you need to remove debris or unclog snow, always turn off your snow blower. Wait for all moving parts to come to a complete stop before clearing any clogs or debris. 
  • Only use your snow blower in visible conditions - Never operate the snow blower without good visibility or light. 
  • Aim your snow thrower with care - Never blow snow toward people or cars. Do not allow anyone to stand in front of your snow thrower and keep children or pets away.
  • Use extreme caution on slopes and hills - Use caution when changing directions on slopes. Do not attempt to clear steep slopes. 
  • Know where your cord is. If you have an electric powered snow blower, be aware of where the power cord is at all times. Avoid tripping. Do not run over the power cord.