2 min read


OPEI offers 12 Questions to ask before operating a snow thrower.

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. 

Have you checked your equipment? 
Equipment should be powered off when checking it. Adjust any cables and check the auger. If you forgot to drain the fuel before storing your equipment last year, empty the gas tank. 
Have you purchased the right fuel?  
Be sure to use the fuel recommended by the equipment manufacturer. Fuel that is more than 30 days old can phase separate and cause operating problems. Buy gasoline ahead of a storm. For more information see LookBeforeYouPump.com.   
Is gasoline used safely? 
Never add fuel to a running or hot engine. Store gasoline in a fuel container and label with date purchased and ethanol content. Make sure fuel is stored safely and out of reach of children. 

Are batteries charged (for battery-powered equipment)? 
Make sure batteries are fully charged before a storm, in case electricity goes out.
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. 
Are you dressed properly? 
Wear safety glasses, gloves and footwear that can handle cold and slippery surfaces. 
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.
Is your snow thrower operated only in visible conditions? 
Never operate the snow thrower without good visibility or light. 
Will you use extreme caution clearing slopes and hills? 

Never attempt to clear steep slopes. Use caution when changing directions on slopes or inclines. 
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 at all times when using the machine. Avoid tripping. Do not run over the power cord.
Are pets and children inside while the snow thrower is operating? 
It’s best to keep kids and pets indoors and supervised while a snow thrower is operating. Do not allow them to play in the snow as it is tossed out of the chute. 
About OPEI
OPEI is an international trade association representing manufacturers and suppliers of outdoor power equipment, small engines, battery power systems, portable generators, utility and personal transport vehicles, and golf cars. OPEI is the advocacy voice of the industry, and a recognized Standards Development Organization for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and active internationally through the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in the development of safety and performance standards. OPEI owns Equip Exposition, the international landscape, outdoor living, and equipment exposition, and administers the TurfMutt Foundation, which directs the environmental education program, TurfMutt. OPEI-Canada represents members on a host of issues, including recycling, emissions and other regulatory developments across the Canadian provinces.


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