There are plenty of ways in which you can use a leaf blower. For you to have an easy time and enjoy using the unit, you need to ensure that you are safe.
In addition to getting ear protection for leaf blowers, there are plenty of other ways of protecting yourself.
Injuries associated with leaf blowers
Possible injuries that can come about due to the use of leaf blowers include:
- Electrical injuries such as electrocution and fires
- Eye injuries brought about y projectile debris
- Hearing loss due to excessive noise exposure
- Breathing problems as a result of air pollution
- Death due to improper use of the machine
What you will learn
- 0.1 Ear protection for leaf blowers
- 1 Take care when buying leaf blowers
- 2 Practice safety when operating the leaf blower
- 3 What to do in the event of an accident
- 4 Tips on how to properly use the leaf blower
- 5 Leaf blowing techniques to pay attention to
- 6 Leaf blower maintenance tips
- 7 Parting shot
Ear protection for leaf blowers
Leaf blowers are noisy and when you use them for a long time, you are bound to suffer from noise-induced hearing loss.
The cool thing is that there are plenty of hearing protection devices in the market that you can use to protect yourself.
The most common ones are:
Husqvarna is known for its high-quality products and you should expect the same from these.
The headphones provide you with all the noise protection you are looking for when getting rid of leaves.
At the same time, the headphones are light that you can comfortably wear them the entire day.
- Noise reduction ratio 25dB
- Weigh only 10. 4 ounces
- Flexible padded headband with pressure adjustment
- Use without a hard hat
They not only provide you with noise protection, they also serve as sources of entertainment.
This innovative hearing protection for leaf blowers allows you to conveniently make and take calls while you are at your job.
Whether you are blowing leaves from a football field or from your backyard, these hearing protection devices will make your workday efficient, entraining, and safe.
- Noise reduction rating of 24 dB
- Bluetooth technology that allows you to seamlessly stream entertainment from your phone or any other Bluetooth enabled device
- Hi-fi sound
- Lightweight, low-profile design
The aim of these headphones isn’t to simply protect your ears, but to also infuse more fun to your workday.
Built with comfort features such as plush ear cushions and padded headbands, the headphones ensure that you are as comfortable as possible.
- Noise reduction rating of 24 dB
- Redesigned headband
- Softer ear cup padding
- Soft-touch material on ear cups to improve grip
- Easy to use the auto scan
When you are buying the units, ensure that they are comfortable to wear. This calls for you to ensure that they fit you properly.
You also need to ensure that they are of high quality. The last thing you want are pieces that will come apart after a few uses.
You should note that it’s your responsibility to take care of the pieces for them to last for a long time and give you the service that you are looking for.
When wearing the pieces, you should avoid dropping them when working. You also should be keen when storing them.
Store them in an area where they can’t be damaged by moisture or insects.
Another highly effective way of keeping the pieces in top shape is cleaning them regularly. The best way of going about it is by cleaning them as soon as you are done with mowing.
In addition to this getting rid of harmful microbes that can damage the units, it also keeps them looking great.
If using headphones, you should avoid immersing them in water as you will damage them.
Take care when buying leaf blowers
The first thing you should do when buying the leaf blowers is to ensure that they are made by a reputable company.
Be on the lookout for a sticker that tells you that the leaf blower is approved by CPSC, NSC, OPEI, CSA, ANSI, IEC, UL, or any other safety association.
Be cautious when buying units from China as the regulatory standards there are different from those in the United States.
In addition to the sticker, you also should pay attention to the leaf blower itself.
Be on the lookout for safety features such as quick shut-off switch, nonslip handles, bottom-mounted air intake, built-in dust collection kit, and wide-mouthed gas tank.
If buying an electric leaf blower, check whether it’s double insulated. You don’t want to be electrocuted, do you?
Any tension cord used with the electric leaf blower should also be double insulated.
Practice safety when operating the leaf blower
Your behavior when operating the leaf blower has a great impact on how safe you are when working. Some of the safety tips to consider when operating the machine include:
Before you begin using the leaf blower, take time to read the user’s manual and follow the instructions to the letter.
Just like when operating any other machine, don’t operate the leaf blower while under the influence of alcohol or any other drugs.
If you have long hair, you should tie it at the back.
If using an extension cord, ensure that the cord is out of the way and there is no risk of it tripping you.
You should note that outdoor power tools such as leaf blowers require you to use an outdoor-rated cord.
If you have to plug the machine, ensure that you plug it into the proper outlet. Never remove the third prong or modify the plug in any way.
Is this the first time you are blowing the leaves? You should walk through the yard and identify any rocks and debris that might be there.
These rocks can be dangerous projectiles in the event they are blown strongly or sucked into the unit; therefore, you should know where they are to avoid being injured.
If possible, you should get rid of them beforehand.
Avoid using the leaf blower while on the roof or ladder. If you have to use it in that position, ensure that it’s safely tied off.
You also should ensure that you have a secure footing and you aren’t overreaching.
When using gas-powered leaf blowers you should be cautious as they have special safety concerns. You should be mindful about their filling, storage, and use of fuel.
After filing them, clean up any spills that might be there and thoroughly wash your hands.
Leaf blowers are known to produce a lot of dust that can be irritating to your body. To protect yourself, wear a mask.
To reduce the amount of dust produced when blowing the leaves, blow the grass with care. Start blowing with the nozzle close to the ground then raise it to a height where it doesn’t generate dust.
It’s possible to move grass clippings without moving dust; therefore, you should practice doing it.
Be safe when cleaning the leaf blower
For you to get rid of harmful microbes and keep the leaf blower in top shape, you should be cautious when cleaning the leaf blower.
Before you begin cleaning it, unplug it completely from the power source.
Leaf blowers come with cleaning instructions that you need to follow thoroughly to avoid damaging the unit.
Regardless of the type of leaf blower you have, you have to clean or replace the air filters. You also have to clean the cooling fans to prevent problems in the future.
What to do in the event of an accident
Even with all the safety precautions in place, it’s common for one to get injured or be involved in an accident.
In case you have an accident, you should stop using the leaf blower immediately and if possible, disable the power source.
If you have had a cut, pinch, or any other mild injury, you should get yourself out of the working area and seek first aid treatment as fast as possible.
Sometimes you might have a serious accident. For example, you might have a serious burn or cut. If this happens, contact 9-1-1 as soon as possible.
Tips on how to properly use the leaf blower
For you to get the most from the leaf blower, you should use it properly. The first thing you should do is to know the right time to use the machine.
Some cities regulate when you can use the leaf blower; therefore, for you to avoid being on the wrong side of the law check with your city to know the best hours you should do it.
Wet leaves don’t blow easily; therefore, you should avoid cleaning your yard a day after the rain. You should first let the leaves dry then pick them during the least windy day.
To protect yourself and your neighbors, avoid using the leaf blower after applying fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides.
The best way of going about it is waiting a week or two before you do it.
If you have to apply the materials, you should first start with blowing your yard first.
Before you use the leaf blower, inspect it for any issues it might be having.
If there is any problem, avoid using the unit as it will not only fail to give you the results you are looking for, it also puts your life at risk as it can easily hurt you.
Ensure the area you are working in is free of pets, people, and children. If there are bystanders at the site, they should be at least 50 feet from where you are operating the leaf blower.
Some people make the mistake of pointing the leaf blower at people and animals. Don’t do this as dust, dirt, and even debris can fly into their eyes.
Once you are done with your work, wipe off the leaf blower and let the engine cool. Inspect the unit for any dirt or debris in the air intake.
If everything is in good condition, store the leaf blower in a dry place where it can’t be damaged.
Leaf blowing techniques to pay attention to
For proper leaf blowing you need to use a number of techniques. These techniques include:
Work with the wind. As long as the wind isn’t too strong, you can make use of it. The breeze will help you direct the leaves.
Section your yard into small, workable areas
When blowing the yard, begin on one edge and blow debris to the middle of the lawn. When doing it, target the areas beneath the shrubs, bushes, and trees.
Instead of trying to herd all the leaves into a single pile, create a debris pile for each section of the yard.
When moving grass clippings or leaves from the sidewalk, hard-surface driveway, or walkway, turn the blower’s settings to the lowest.
The reason for this is because debris travels easily on these smooth surfaces, and the lower setting provides you with more control.
If you live in a city where the city pickups the loose leaves, direct them onto a tarp or old sheet. You should pull the ends of the tarp together so that you can have an easy time transporting them.
If your city requires you to bag the leaves, fill them with hand, rake, or vacuum.
Leaf blower maintenance tips
For the leaf blower to last for a long time you need to take good care of it. The cool thing is that there are plenty of routines of how you can do it.
You can divide the maintenance routines into daily, weekly, or monthly routines. They include:
Some of the daily routines you need to undertake include:
- Clean the exterior surfaces of the blower
- Inspect the throttle lock and throttle trigger function
- Clean or replace the air filter
- Find out whether the stop switch is working properly
- Ensure that the nuts and screws are properly tightened
- Confirm that the collection bag is intact and the zipper is working properly
- Ensure that all the housings are free of cracks
- If you frequently use the leaf blower, at least once a week you should:
- Check the condition of the starter device, tensioning spring, and starter cord
- Ensure that none of the anti-vibration mountings are damaged
- Clean the outside of the spark plug. You need to unscrew it and check the electrode gap. If damaged, replace it.
- Take a look at the condition of the air intake at the starter device. Remove any debris if it’s clogged.
- Clean or replace the muffler's spark
- Clean the air filters and carburetor space
At least once a month you should:
- Flush the fuel tank of old gasoline then refill it with fresh gasoline. You should then add fuel stabilizer.
- Clean the fan blades on the flywheel
- Check all the cables and connections
- Inspect the spark plug
- Inspect the fuel filter and fuel line. If damaged, replace them.
- Clean the outside of the carburetor and space around it
- If necessary, check and clean the mufflers spark arrest screen
For the leaf blower to give you ideal results, you should properly use it. For it to last for a long time, take good care of it.
The cool thing is that you don’t have to hire a contractor to help you out. You can do everything by yourself.