Gasoline Leaf Blower Safety and Maintenance Tips
Posted on November 22, 2016
Leaf blowers can make the chore of yard maintenance much easier and less time-consuming. But there are safety concerns that need to be taken into consideration to prevent injuries. A leaf blower can move debris up to 200 mph stirring up dust that could be inhaled and making dangerous flying objects airborne.
From 50 feet away, gasoline leaf blowers can reach 75 decibels. The World Health Organization claims that sounds above 50 decibels can cause hearing damage in children and above 80 decibels in adults. Both the level of sound and the sound frequency can be the problem. Inexpensive leaf blowers with inefficient engines may change pitch and amplitude exacerbating the problem. Some municipalities have rules for hours of use. Whether there are rules or not, be courteous to your neighbors and don’t use your leaf blower early or late in the day.
Wear the following protective clothing and devices while operating your leaf blower:
- Long pants and shoes to protect from flying debris.
- Non-slip gloves to provide a secure grip and prevent blisters and cuts.
- Safety goggles to help prevent dust from getting into your eyes.
- Hearing protection to prevent damage from the high sound frequency and level.
- Dust mask to prevent inhalation of pollutants such as particulates and mold.
Follow these guidelines when operating your leaf blower:
- Walk through your yard and remove any limbs, rocks or other debris that could become projectiles.
- Make sure the wind is at your back.
- Keep people and pets at least 50 feet away from the area where you are using your leaf blower.
- Close car and home windows.
- Operate your leaf blower at lowest possible throttle to reduce noise and save fuel.
- Practice controlling the air velocity to lift leaves without stirring up dust.
- Move toward your work and use nozzle extensions that keep sound and dust at a minimum.
- Watch for the ricochet effect when blowing around objects.
- Never use your leaf blower indoors or while on a roof or ladder.
- Do not leave your leaf blower running unattended.
Look for the following features when you purchase a leaf blower:
- Sound levels no higher than 65 decibels.
- A quick shut-off switch, a wide-mouthed gas tank and a bottom-mounted air intake.
- A sticker showing approval from a safety association such as the OPEI, CSA, NSC, ANSI, IEC, UL, or CPSC.
Follow these guidelines to keep your leaf blower in the best condition:
- Always use the right mixture of gasoline and oil for your fuel. Check the manufacturer instructions for the correct formula.
- After using your leaf blower, let the engine cool. Then wipe it off.
- Inspect the muffler, air intakes and air filter making sure they are clear of debris.
- Replace air filters as needed.
- Replace spark plugs on a regular basis or at least annually.
Leaf blowers effectively move leaves and other debris from lawns, porches, driveways and patios as well as away from the house foundation. Follow these gasoline leaf blower safety tips while taking care of your yard maintenance.
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If you have questions about your home’s foundation or foundation repairs, contact Atlantic Foundation and Repair at 919-855-0855.