SAFETY: Working With And On Small Engines


Old 01-04-00, 02:10 PM
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Welcome to the Small Engines Forum.

In previous postings, I discussed the topics of explaining & defining a small engine and outlined how I thought this forum would work to the best advantage for us all.

In this posting, I would like to cover the basics on a subject matter, which is, in my opinion again, of utmost importance.

SAFETY! Once again, SAFETY, as with almost any indeavor with which we take on working in the home, garage, shed, barn or in any inclosed structural environment, SAFETY is of the highest importance.

Since working on small engines, which all use oils & gasolines and are most often used outside, they have this nasty habit of leaking with time and age. This also includes overflows we cause filling them up.

Therefore, one or more of the fluids is the primary reason for such equipment becoming dirty, greasy and oily. Any and all of these conditions will attract and hold dirt, debris and the like.

In order to make most repairs, we will at many times need to use some sort of flammable cleaning agent, prior to and during the disassembly/repairing and reassembling stages in order to complete those repairs. Therefore SAFETY becomes a non-agrumentive subject.

As an engery technician working for a major natural gas utility company, I have investigated many fires and explosions NOT caused by a natural gas leak. Those happened because basic SAFETY precautions where not used.

Examples: Canned aerosol cleaners, canned liquid parts cleaners, solvents and gasolines.

All the above and many others emit invisable explosive vapors which can be ignited by common sources of ignition.

Most common sources of ignition found in work areas can be but not limited to, dryers, room or suspended gas or electric heaters and the biggest culprit of all, water heaters.

Therefore, for the home or commonly referred to as "Novice" or "Back Yard" mechanic, it is always WISE to be fully aware of your surroundings and use, at the very least, adequate SAFETY precautions and ventilation.

Other important SAFETY precautions.

Wear the proper clothing.
<Coveralls work best.> Avoid long sleeves which can become entangled into moving parts.

Eye protection! Whenever using cleaning solutions and sprays, ALWAYS use eye protection and NEVER spray into the wind or outside on windy days. <One shot of overspray or splash back into the eye or eyes, just may NOT only ruin your whole may ruin the rest of your life!

Always be aware of ANY and ALL sources of ignition whenever using any flammable substance, including the gasoline in the power equipment.

Avoid distractions! Avoid becoming STRESSED!
Both these two and many others cause us to become frustrated, which is one of the leading causes of ACCIDENTS happening.

Tip: Whenever you find yourself becoming frustrated working on ANYTHING, back off. Taking a break for several minutes, hours and in some cases days if necessary, is the best SAFETY precaution we could take.

Always cleanup and toss those cleaning rags into a sealed fire proof can or container. Seal and store ALL flammable liquids away from any and all sources of ignition.

Keeping in mind these and any other SAFETY precautions you normally use, we together, can SAFELY and hopefully & successfully fix your outdoor power equipment.

Good Luck,

PS: As with all postings in this forum and any others, your suggestions, tips and any other helpfull advice or additions is always welcome.

TomBartco Enterprises.
Trade: Natural Gas Energy Consultant & Technician.
Appliance Service & Repairs Rep.
Vocation: Saw & Tool Sharpening and Small Engine Repairs.
Accurate Power Equipment Company.

Personal Quote: "Drive Safely. The Life You Save
May Be Your Own."

Old 01-08-00, 06:01 PM
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Good Stuff TomBartco, Thanks.

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