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Using a Snowblower Safely

Sep 4, 2008
Snowblower and lawnmower accidents account for many severe injuries every year, including loss of fingers and toes, deep cuts, burns, crushed and broken bones. Injuries occur to all age groups but most people affected by these types of injuries are between twenty five and sixty. Here are some basic tips to make sure you are not among them!

Basic Safety Tips

Always read the manual and make sure you know the operating procedures before you even start up your snowblower. Never drink alcohol or take any medication that can impair your judgment before you operate a snowblower, or any other machine. Make sure any safety guides, shields or switch guards are in place and never remove them. Check with your manual for any further information on the safety features of your particular model. When operating the snowblower keep hands and feet away from any moving parts and always ensure that children and pets are at a safe distance. This is particularly important for snowblowers as they can take up and propel small objects a long way at a high speed.

Do not leave the machine running unattended, even for a brief time, always shut off the engine completely. Fill up the gas tank when the engine is cold, never when it is running or hot.

Do not wear loose clothes as they can easily become tangled in moving parts. Snowblowers vary considerably in the noise they make. Electric snowblowers are quiet but gas powered models can be very noisy. It is a good idea to have a pair of ear protectors for use with your snowblower and other machines, such as lawn tractors.

Snowblowers can easily become fouled by twigs and other debris. Do not use your hands to clear the auger or discharge chute. Use a broom handle or other stick. If you know heavy snow is predicted, clearing the area of loose material before it is covered by the snow will make snow clearing much easier.

Snowblowers with gasoline engines have the same risks as other machines so treat them accordingly. Gasoline engines produce toxic fumes so never run the snowblower in an enclosed space, your garage for instance. If you must test out the machine do it in an open area. Store gasoline in approved cans only in a safe place away from the hands of small children.

For electric snowblowers care must be taken to keep the cord away from the moving parts. Always use a cord designed for outdoor use and an outlet that has ground fault interrupting protection.

Maintenance of your Snowblower

Always do a thorough check of your machine at the start of the winter, before the first snow. Gas powered snowblowers need more maintenance than electric models and require the same types of maintenance as your car engine. The oil level and spark plug must be checked regularly and the oil changed at least once a year before the first use of the winter. Check the cord on an electric snowblower. See that it is not frayed or damaged and replace if necessary.

Make sure you do not have to visit the emergency room this coming winter by following all the safety rules!
About the Author
For more information and some good deals on Honda and Craftsman Snowblowers check out Honda Snowblowers or Craftsman Snowblowers
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