Fire officials: Use common sense while operating snow blowers

Winter Weather

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The winter season is upon us, and as the snow begins to fall, many will turn to snow blowers to clear their driveways.

President of the Providence Firefighters Union Derek Silva tells Eyewitness News as the winter goes on, they’ll likely respond to more and more snow blowing incidents.

Silva said first responders were called to a snow blowing incident Tuesday during the season’s first snowstorm.

He didn’t elaborate on the victim’s injuries but said it wouldn’t have happened at all if the person had just followed the directions.

“If they had used the proper instruments, they would have been fine,” Silva said.

In Lawrence, firefighters had to disassemble a snow blower to free a man’s arm — which was stuck in the chute. The Boston Globe also reported that at least 12 people were injured by snow blowers during the snowstorm.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shared the following safety tips for those using snow blowers to clear their driveways:

  • Stop the engine and use a long stick to unclog wet snow and debris from the machine. Do not use your keep hands to unclog a snow thrower.
  • Always keep hands and feet away from all moving parts.
  • Never leave the machine running in an enclosed area.
  • Add fuel to the tank outdoors before starting the machine; don’t add gasoline to a running or hot engine.
  • Always keep the gasoline can capped, and store gasoline out of the house and away from ignition sources.
  • If you have an electric-powered snow thrower, be aware of where the power cord is at all times.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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