Using a snow blower is an easy, fun alternative to shoveling snow. But snow blow owners should always remember to operate these tools with caution. Here we’ll dive into the question: Are snow blowers safe?
People incurring serious injuries to their hands and fingers while operating a snow blower is more common than you may think. In fact, these injuries can be severe enough to require amputation. The old saying “Prevention is better than cure” makes complete sense regarding snow blower safety. You need to prevent the mishap from occurring. This can be done following few straightforward guidelines. We are going to discuss them so that you can always stay safe and sound.
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Snow blower safety tips to keep in mind
Wear suitable clothing
It is never advisable to wear loose fitting pants, clothes, jackets or mufflers while operating the snow blower. These can get caught in the moving machine parts causing injury. You also need to put on robust shoes with good grip. You should be extra careful while working on slippery surfaces or slopes. Putting an earplug or another ear protection gear is recommended heavily for gas powered models to prevent hearing damage.
Watch your fingers
Never try to clean the machine while it is still powered on. Unplug the power source for an electric snow blower and kill the engine if it is gas powered. Then you can grab a stick or tool to clear the auger or discharge chute. You should wait for the blades to stop rotating before you proceed. Do not take out the safety devices of the snow blower or put your hands inside the chute at any time while attempting to remove the clog.
Maintain your snow blower properly
Before you start up a snow blower, you should inspect it every time. The machine should be serviced regularly to maintain working condition. The power cord also needs to be checked for damages.
Precautions for gas-powered snow blowers
A gas powered snow blower should be started outdoors to eliminate chances of carbon monoxide poisoning. Also, avoid using the machine in enclosed areas like garages or sheds where toxic materials can get mixed with the stationary air. While refueling, make sure the engine is switched off and not heated. The fuel should be mixed appropriately to achieve the regular gas or oil ratio. It should be kept in a proper container so that it does not leak out.
Precautions for electric snow blowers
Electric snow blowers should be used with a high-quality outdoor extension cord equipped with ground fault circuit interrupting safety. There should be adequate distance between the wire and the rotating blades of the snow blower.
Never point a snow blower at anyone!
The discharge chute of the snow blower should not be pointed towards any person or vulnerable object. Small bits of rocks, snow chunks, and other solid substances are picked up by the snow blower. These hard objects can be discharged more powerfully than snow resulting in injury.
Snow blowing can turn dangerous if you are not paying attention to the job. Always maintain focus and never indulge in any intoxicants before operating a snow blower. Freezing temperatures and high exertion can also be a fatal combination for anyone. Be sure to take small breaks at regular intervals to avoid over exertion.
To summarize, here’s a checklist of safety precautions to take when operating a snow blower.
- Be careful when you start up the snow blower.
- Ensure regular maintenance is performed.
- Be careful with where the discharge tube is pointing.
- Buy a gas-powered model if you’re new to using snow blowers.
Read more about snow blowers
Now that you know the answer to the question “Are snow blowers safe?”, are you ready to invest in one? Check out our selection of the Best Snow Blowers of 2020. Definitely do your research before buying one. While snow blowers are easy to use, you may have some questions like if snow blowers work on gravel or “Can snow blowers break ice?” Before buying, you’ll also want to learn about snow blower stages. We also explain when is the perfect time to buy a snow blower. Happy snow blowing and remember, safety first!