Getting ready to use your snow thrower? 12 questions to ask before powering up


| Photo by Mike Cox on Unsplash

NEW YORK (NAPSI)—Snow flurries and winter storms can be unpredictable, so the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) encourages home and business owners to prepare before bad weather hits.

“Outdoor power equipment such as snow throwers can make quick work of a big job,” says OPEI President and CEO Kris Kiser. “Just remember: When getting out your snow thrower, review your owner’s manual. You should know how to correctly operate controls and quickly shut it off if necessary.”

Questions to ask before operating a snow thrower

1. Have you read your owner’s manual? Know safe handling procedures and how to operate the controls of your machine. If the manual cannot be found, look it up online and store a copy on the computer.

2. Have you checked your equipment? Equipment should be powered off when checking it. Adjust any cables and check the drill. If you forgot to drain the fuel before storing your equipment last year, empty the gas tank.

3. Have you purchased the right fuel? Be sure to use the fuel recommended by the equipment manufacturer. Fuel over 30 days old can phase separately and cause operational problems. Buy gasoline ahead of a storm. For more information, see

4. Is gasoline used safely? Never add fuel to a running or hot engine. Store gasoline in a fuel container and label it with the date purchased and ethanol content. Make sure fuel is stored safely and out of reach of children.

5. Are batteries charged (for battery-powered equipment)? Ensure batteries are fully charged before a storm if the electricity goes out.

6. Is the yard clear of obstructions? Snow can hide objects. Doormats, hoses, balls, toys, wires, and other debris should be removed. When run over by a snow thrower, these objects may harm the machine or people.

Operating snow throwers safely

7. Are you appropriately dressed? Wear safety glasses, gloves, and footwear that can handle cold and slippery surfaces.

8. Is your clean-out tool ready? NEVER put your hands inside the auger or chute. Use a clean-out tool to unclog snow or debris. Always turn off the snow thrower and wait for all moving parts to come to a complete stop before clearing any clogs.

9. Is your snow thrower operated only in visible conditions? Never operate the snow thrower without good visibility or light.

10. Will you use extreme caution clearing slopes and hills? Use caution when changing directions on slopes or inclines. Never attempt to clear steep slopes.

11. For electric equipment, do you pay attention to where the cord is? Use an extension cord designed for outdoor use. Be aware of where the power cord is when using the machine. Avoid tripping. Do not run over the power cord.

12. Are pets and children inside while the snow thrower is operating? Keeping kids and pets indoors and supervised while a snow thrower is operating is best. Do not allow them to play in the snow as it is tossed out of the chute.

–With Jay Domingo

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