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Published: Tuesday, 10/4/2005

Operate Your Leaf Blower Safely, Courteously

Noise and safety are two important considerations when using a leaf blower, so be courteous of your neighbors. Noise and safety are two important considerations when using a leaf blower, so be courteous of your neighbors.

Leaf blowers are a time and labor saving clean-up tool for removing leaves, grass clippings, and debris from the yard, driveway and sidewalk. No matter how often you use your blower, a few simple guidelines should be followed for your benefit, as well as the benefit of those around you.

Keeping these tips in mind will ensure that you operate your blower safely and courteously:

Pay attention when operating the blower. Bystanders should remain at least 50 feet away from the blower while it is in operation.

Wear hearing protection and eye protection while operating the blower. Work gloves, sturdy protective clothing and shoes or boots should also be worn.

Keep loose fitting clothes and long hair restrained to avoid interfering with the air intake or catching in the blower fan.

Use the lowest possible throttle speed needed to do the job and manufacturer-specified nozzle attachments to help reduce the sound and dust.

To reduce dust, start with the nozzle close to the ground and then raise it to a height where dust isn't generated.

Abide by local rules and ordinances on when to operate a leaf blower. Refrain from using the blower early in the morning or late at night.

Evaluate wind direction and intensity. Never point the nozzle or blow debris toward people, pets, cars or houses.

In addition to following these safety and courtesy tips, read your operator's manual for additional information about the product features of your blower as well as recommended operating techniques.

Like any tool, a leaf blower is safest and most effective when used properly.

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