Out­door Power Equip­ment In­sti­tute re­minds home and busi­ness own­ers about safe han­dling of snow­blow­ers

The Goderich Signal-Star - - HISTORY - Post­media Net­work

With winter snows ar­riv­ing, home­own­ers, cont rac­tors, and busi­ness own­ers will again rely on t h e i r snow blowers to clear drive­ways and walks. T h e Ou t d o o r P o w e r Equip­ment In­sti­tute ( OPEI) is of­fer­ing tips for safe and cor­rect use of snow blowers.

“Your indis­pens­able winter friend, the snow blower is ready to be pow­ered up and it’s im­por­tant to keep safety in mind,” says OPEI Pres­i­dent and CEO Kris Kiser. “Be sure to pre­pare and con­sider the fol­low­ing tips be­fore you use your equip­ment:

PRE­PARE BE­FORE IT SNOWS

Re­view your owner’s man­ual and check your equip­ment. Check your owner’s man­ual for safe han­dling pro­ce­dures from your man­u­fac­turer. If you for­got to drain the fuel last winter be­fore stor­ing your snow blower, drain the tank now. Ad­jus t any ca­bles. Check the auger ( the snow blower should al­ways be com­pletely pow­ered off when you are check­ing the equip­ment). Know how to op­er­ate the con­trols. You should be a b l e t o shu t o f f your equip­ment quickly.

Pre­pare your fuel and han­dle i t prop­erly. It ’ s im­por­tant to have the right fuel on hand for your snow blower – move­ment and fuel avail­abil­ity may be limited dur­ing a snow­storm. Be sure to use the cor­rect fuel, as rec­om­mended by your equip­ment’s man­u­fac­turer ( for more i n f o rmat i o n on fu­el­ing prop­erly see www. LookBe­foreYouPump. com). 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.

Be sure to clean the area you in­tend to clear with your equip­ment. Snow can some­times hide ob­jects that if run over by a snow blower, may harm the ma­chine or peo­ple. Doormats, hoses, balls, toys, boards, wires, and other de­bris should be re­moved from the ar­eas you in­tend to clear.

Dress ap­pro­pri­ately. Wear safety glasses and footwear that can han­dle slip­pery sur­faces.

OP­ER­ATE YOUR EQUIP­MENT SAFELY

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 chu t e. Make sure t h e snow­blower is in the off po­si­tion be­fore ad­dress­ing any clogs.

Turn OFF your snow blower if you need to clear a c l o g . I f 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 be f o re c l e a r ing any c l o g s o r de­bris.

Onl y use your snow blower in vis­i­ble con­di­tions. Never op­er­ate the snow­blower with­out good vis­i­bil­ity or light.

Aim your snow blower with care. Never throw snow to­ward peo­ple or cars. Do not al­low any­one to stand in front of your snow blower. Keep chil­dren or pets away from your snow blower when it is op­er­at­ing.

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.

More safety tips and in­for­ma­tion are avail­able at www. opei.org.

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