“Weather is more unpredictable now than ever, so you want to be ready and prepared. Now is also the best time to review your owner’s manual and operating procedures. You should know how to quickly shut off the snow thrower and how to operate the controls, ” says OPEI President and CEO Kris Kiser.
Your owner’s manual will have safe handling procedures and show you how to operate the controls. If the manual cannot be found, look it up online, and store a copy on your computer.
Here’s Some Tips:
Have you checked your equipment since storing it? Make sure all equipment is completely powered off when checking it over. If you forgot to drain the fuel last winter before storing your snow thrower, empty the gas tank. Adjust any cables and check the auger when the equipment is powered off.
Is the equipment where you can get to it easily? Move equipment to a convenient and accessible location, so you can get to it quickly.
Have you purchased the right fuel? Be sure to use the correct fuel, as recommended by your equipment’s manufacturer. Fuel that is more than 30 days old can phase separate and cause operating problems. Buy gasoline ahead of a storm, as driving may be treacherous during storms and stations can be closed. For more information on fueling properly see www.LookBeforeYouPump.com
Is gasoline being used safely? Before you start the engine, fill up the fuel tank on your snow thrower while the engine is cold and outside your home or garage. Never add fuel to a running or hot engine. Store the gasoline in a fuel container and label with date purchased and the ethanol content. Make sure fuel is stored safely and out of the reach of children.
Are batteries charged? If using a battery/electric-powered snow-thrower, make sure batteries are fully charged, in case electricity goes out during a winter storm.
Is the yard free of obstructions? Snow can hide objects. Doormats, hoses, balls, toys, boards, wires, and other debris should be removed. When run over by a snow thrower, these objects may harm the machine or people.
Are you dressed properly? Locate safety gear now, and place it in an accessible closet or location. Plan to wear safety glasses, gloves and footwear that can handle cold and slippery surfaces.
The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) encourages home and business owners to keep safety in mind when using their snow throwers, often referred to as snow blowers, and other winter equipment.
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