With winter weather now upon us in full force, it’s time to think snow blower safety. While snow blowers make removing snow a lot easier than shoveling, following these safety precautions when operating a snow blower can help prevent serious injuries to you and others around you.
Snow Blower Safety Tips:
- Before You Start – Pick up any trash or debris on your driveway and/or walkways to prevent it from jamming the snow blower or being launched from the impeller. Clean up before a storm hits, as newspapers, rocks, toys and other articles can be easily covered by snow, making them hard to see.
- Invest in Ear Protection – Gas-powered snow blowers make a lot of noise and can cause ear damage, so purchasing a good pair of noise-deadening earmuffs or plugs makes a lot of sense.
- Start Your Snow Blower Outdoors – Gas-powered snow blowers should never be started or ran inside a garage or shed, even with the door open. The exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide which is extremely dangerous. The build-up of carbon monoxide fumes can be deadly. Always run your gas-powered snow blower outside, away from any windows or doors.
- Don’t Wear Loose Clothing – Baggy pant legs, dangling scarves, and other loose articles of clothing have the potential to get caught on a moving part of the snow blower, potentially pulling you in with it. Wear tight-fitting clothing and slip-resistant boots to reduce the risk of slipping.
- Keep Your Hands Out of the Auger and Chute – Most importantly, never, ever, stick your hands near the auger or chute while it’s running. When your auger or chute become clogged with too much snow or with unexpected debris, fully shut the engine off (unplug electric models), then use your clearing tool (often included with snow blowers) to break up the clog. Once the clog is cleared, you can plug in or start up your snow blower and resume operation.
- Keep Your Kids and Pets Far Away – Children and pets can be accidentally struck by small objects such as rocks that can be launched at high-speed from your snow blower. Always keep your kids and pets inside while you operate the machine
- Keep the Cord in Sight – When using electric snow blowers, be sure to use an extension cord that’s properly rated for your snowblower and be sure you have it plugged into a GFCI protected outlet with three prongs. Keep the cord away from the front-end where it could get pulled into the auger and always keep it behind you.