Step By Step Guide To Safely Operate a Snow Blower
Keeping your lawn or driveway clear from snow can be exhausting when using a shovel or snow brush. Using an electric or gas-powered or other top snow blowers makes the job easy and saves you time, giving you more time for festive fun with friends and family. But before using a snow blower, there are some essential safety tips to keep in mind. This article covers 8 top tips on how to safely operate a snow blower. Let’s begin!
Keeping yourself and others safe should be your primary concern while operating a snow blower as the machine can present some dangers when used improperly or recklessly. If you follow the 3 tips below, the risk of accidents will be greatly reduced.
1. Dress Appropriately
Being outside in the freezing cold requires dressing warmly, there’s no doubt about it. When you’re using a snow blower you should take care to dress warmly but avoid loose or hanging items such as a dangling scarf or baggy pant legs. This is essential to prevent the item from being pulled into the machine and pulling you with it. Important items that you should wear include gripped boots, ear defenders (to protect against noise and cold temperatures) and snow goggles.
2. Don’t Push Yourself
Physical activity naturally becomes harder in colder weather but throwing layers of protective clothing on top and operating heavy machinery make things even more difficult. Although snow blowers make clearing snow easier and quicker than using a traditional shovel, it’s not a good idea to push yourself to get the whole lawn drive cleared in a rush. To keep yourself safe you should take your time when working in cold temperatures, take regular breaks and keep yourself hydrated.
3. Keep Away from Children
Using a snow blower in the lawn or driveway might look fun for kids thanks to the jet of powdered snow which blows from the top of the machine. However, it’s important to keep young children and pets away from the snow blower while it’s in use as small objects (such as sticks or rocks) could be sent through the blower at high speeds.
Safe Preparation and Set-Up
So, you now know how to keep yourself and others safe while operating the machine after reading our general safety tips. Of course, the snow blower itself needs to be used with care to avoid accidental damage while using it. The following 3 steps should serve as a useful guide for operating your snow blower safely to make your tasks easier, and to prolong the life of your machine.
Clear the Lawn/Driveway
If snow falls quickly and heavily in your area, then you’ll likely know ahead of time when snow is falling and how much to expect. When you’re aware of a snowstorm coming it’s a good idea to clear obstructions from the driveway, entrance area, paths, and lawn that could get in the way while you’re using your snow blower. Things like decorations, gardening equipment, toys, rocks, sprinklers, or garden hoses should all be picked up and removed from the area to prevent them from being destroyed or jammed in the snow blower.
Topping Up with Fuel
It’s essential to top up the snow blower’s fuel before you start working to prevent running out in the middle of the process. You should only top-up your snow blower while the device is off and cooled down which is why it’s a good idea to do it at the start. If you forget or if you run out during the job, then you’ll have to switch off the machine and wait until it has cooled down completely before refilling.
You should never start your gas-powered snow blower in a shed, garage, or any other enclosed space as the exhaust fumes could cause carbon monoxide poisoning if they’re not ventilated. For this same reason, it’s important to start running the snow blower away from open windows or doors too.
Safety While Using the Snow Blower
After following the previous tips you’re almost ready to use your brand-new snow blower. But there are just 2 more things to keep in mind to keep yourself and the machine safe. Looking after the snow blower during its operation is the best way to prolong its life for years to come.
Caution Against Clogs
It’s not uncommon for snow blowers to become clogged with compacted snow or other debris while it’s in use. If and when this happens, you must first switch off the machine and never use your hands to remove the clog. When the engine is off, use a clearing tool (which usually comes with the machine) to separate compacted snow and remove the clog.
Mind the Cord
If your snow blower is electric, keep the cord behind you and away from the front of the snow blower at all times. Make sure you’re using a safe outdoor extension cord that’s safe for your specific snow blower and that it’s plugged into a protected outlet.
You’re now fully prepared to safely operate your snow blower and have all the tips and tricks you need for clearing snow quickly and easily.