Leaf blowers are notorious for being extremely loud. This can cause hearing loss in both the operator of the machine and in those who are nearby (often little children playing in the yard). If you are going to use a leaf blower to speed up your yard cleanup this fall, be sure to follow the advice below to ensure the safety of yourself and others. Also, check out my article on the best leaf blower to see how that model does noise-wise.
Wear Adequate Ear Protection
With many blowers producing 85 decibels (or more) of noise at a 50 foot distance, it’s obvious that all those constantly within even 100 feet of the person working need to have ear protection. Ear plugs do a decent job, but I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone operating the machine itself. You need to purchase a good high quality set of ear muffs in order to get the proper protection for your ears. Those who are casually playing in the yard maybe ok with ear plugs, but even then I would recommend full protection.
One a very important note – pay very close attention to children who are playing nearby. Kids come and go rather quickly, and if you have proper ear protection on and are operating the leaf blower there is no way that you will hear them, so keep your eyes open and pay attention to keep their little ears safe.
Only Operate The Blower At Certain Times
Obviously, don’t be out blowing your leaves early in the morning or late at night. Not only is that illegal in many cities, but it’s rude to your neighbors. Personally, I would recommend staying between the hours of 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM, but check your local ordinances to find out what is required in your location.
Get Permission from Your Neighbors
Most people skip this step, and many times it can come back to bite them. I didn’t do this when I first purchased my leaf blower, and my neighbors were ticked. One called me immediately, and two others complained to another good friend of mine. Needless to say, I learned my lesson and went over and spoke to each of them before using it again. Amazingly, that’s all they wanted and were very appreciative that I did so – two of them even asked if they could borrow the tool when I was done.
Some of these tips may seem small and unimportant, but you do really need to play it safe with lawn blowers. Their noise levels can really cause long-term damage if not used properly. However, it’s very easy to protect yourself and be courteous so you can enjoy the benefits of using the tools.