Snowblower Safety Strategies

9 Snowblower Safety Tips for Homeowners

When winter dumps inches or even feet of snow in your neighbourhood, a snowblower can be a handy tool. While a snowblower can quickly clear your driveway and sidewalks, it can be dangerous if used improperly.

If you have a snowblower or are thinking about getting one, here are nine safety tips to consider before the next snowstorm.

1. Review the manual. A snowblower is a dangerous piece of equipment. Don’t toss the manual aside and try to figure it out yourself. Read the instructions and pay attention to the safety features, including how to quickly power down the snowblower in an emergency.

2. Dress appropriately. Even on cold days, it’s easy to get overheated when you’re working outside. Dress in layers that you can strip off, if necessary, but watch out for loose sleeves and scarves that could get caught in the snowblower. Wear nonslip shoes or boots to reduce the risk of slipping on the ice, and wear earplugs to protect your hearing. Snowblowers can be extremely loud.

3. Clear debris. Before beginning snow removal, look around and clear any big rocks or fallen branches from the snowblower’s path. They could damage your machine or get launched by the snowblower and endanger people or property.

4. Watch out for kids and pets. Drifting snow and tall snowbanks can impede visibility. Make sure children and pets (yours or your neighbours’) are clear of the snowblower’s path and the snow cascading out of it.

5. Consider where you’re directing the snow. Never direct the discharge chute toward people, traffic, windows or other areas where damage or injury can occur.

6. Stay safe from fumes. Never start a gas-powered snowblower inside a shed or garage, even if the door is open. The fumes can be harmful or even deadly in enclosed spaces. Also, be sure the engine is off and cool before adding fuel to your snowblower to avoid a fire.

7. Keep your hands and feet away. Never stick your hand or foot in the spinning auger or discharge chute, even if the engine is off. If the machine clogs, turn it off. Wait at least five seconds or until the auger completely stops, then use a broom handle or another long, sturdy tool to remove the clog. And don’t remove or tamper with safety guards or other safety features.

8. Watch the cord. If you have an electric snowblower, be aware of where the cord is at all times. When you begin operating the snowblower, keep the cord away from the front en,d where it could be pulled into the auger. Always keep the cord behind you. If the cord gets caught in the machine and is severed, you could receive a shock or be electrocuted.

9. Keep a clear head and pace yourself. Pay attention to your task. Never operate a snowblower when you’re feeling drowsy or sleepy. Also, refrain from using alcohol, medication or drugs when operating a snowblower. Take frequent breaks to rehydrate and avoid overexertion. Seniors and people with high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes should consult a doctor before using a snowblower.

Stay safe

Snowblowers can spare you the strain and exertion of shoveling, but they can be dangerous if not used correctly. Remember these safety tips to prevent injuries and property damage.

If you have questions about how your home insurance protects you during the winter months, contact your insurance broker. They can provide expert advice on keeping your home and loved ones sheltered from winter’s challenges.

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This content is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing professional, financial, medical or legal advice. You should contact your licensed professional to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Please refer to your policy contract for any specific information or questions on applicability of coverage.

Please note coverage can not be bound or a claim reported without written acknowledgment from a OneGroup Representative.

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