The advent of autumn brings with it the shedding of leaves. Lots and lots of it. Using a garden rake to clear your yard of dead leaves and other debris is backbreaking work, and when the leaf blower was introduced in the 1970s homeowners and groundskeepers all over the word breathed a collective sigh of relief.
Yard clearing and cleaning need not be tedious anymore. Leaf blowers, whether electric or petrol blowers, can drastically reduce the time and effort needed to clear your yard of detritus. They also have the added benefit of preserving the fragile surface soil if used properly. Apart from removing and gathering leaves, people have also used blowers to clear grass clippings, refluff matted grass, dislodge blocked rain gutters, and dry off machinery.
All that power in such a compact device comes with a lot of caveats, however. It’s important to follow a few basic tips and guidelines to ensure proper and safe blower operation.
1 – Read and understand
Do not use the leaf blower without reading and understanding the user manual provided by the manufacturer. Check if the manual contains everything you need to know about your blower: technical specifications, safety guidelines, and usage instructions. You should also read any other accompanying pamphlets and safety warnings on the box.
2 – Leaf blowers aren’t toys
Never allow children to use or even touch your best leaf blowers That restriction extends to pet animals and other people who are unfamiliar with its operation. You are personally responsible for your blower, and you might be liable for any injury or damage caused by improper usage.
Do not point a running leaf blower at the direction of people or animals. Always make sure that onlookers, even other operators, be at least 50 feet away from you. Immediately turn your blower off if you are approached.
3 – Fit to work
See to it that you are well-rested and energized before working with a leaf blower. If you feel tired, take a quick break. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t operate a blower if you feel tired or sick, have recently taken medication, or are under the influence of substances that might affect your hearing, vision, dexterity, or ability to reason.