Chainsaw, lawn mower, power washer, weed whacker – whatever your outdoor power tool of choice may be, it’s important to know how to stay safe while using it.
The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) offers tips to help users get the most from their equipment when they need it.
– Read your owner’s manual and follow all fueling guidelines for your outdoor power equipment. Familiarize yourself with the controls. If you have lost your manual, look it up online.
– Drain old fuel. Don’t leave fuel sitting in the tank for more than 30 days. Untreated gasoline (without a fuel stabilizer) left in the system will deteriorate, which may cause starting or running problems and, in some cases, damage to the fuel system.
– Only use E10 or less fuel. Some gas stations may offer 15 percent ethanol (E15) gas or higher ethanol fuel blends, but any fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol can damage–and is illegal to use in– small engine equipment not designed for it.
Label your fuel can with the date of purchase and ethanol content of the fuel. Never put “old” gas in your outdoor power equipment. If you don’t know the date of purchase, dispose safely of the fuel in the can and buy fresh fuel.
Inspect your equipment. Check for loose belts and missing or damaged parts. Replace any parts needed or take your equipment to a qualified service representative.
Clean your equipment. Remove any dirt, oil or grass stuck to it. A clean machine will run more efficiently and last longer.