As with any power equipment, it's important to know how to operate a pressure washer safely and correctly. Even if you've had your unit for a while, it's a good idea to refresh yourself on how to use it properly before you get started on your outdoor to-do list.

1. Dress for the task. Wear indirect-vented (chemical splash) goggles for eye protection, and a pair of closed-toe shoes such as sneakers or boots.

2. Before getting started, be sure to remove all electronics, cords and wires, and place them safely away from water.

3. Perform routine maintenance. Prior to each use, check the oil level and top off if low. Check the water screens to ensure they can freely move water. Inspect hoses and couplings; if they are cracked or brittle, replace them.

4. Know your equipment and where it can or can't be used. Never operate your gas pressure washer indoors or in enclosed structures. When operating a gas pressure washer, use it outdoors away from occupied spaces to prevent a potentially deadly build-up of carbon monoxide.

5. When operating a gas pressure washer, know the signs of potential carbon monoxide poisoning (dizziness, fatigue, headache, nausea or irregular breathing), and if you experience these symptoms, get to fresh air right away and seek medical attention.

6. Always point the nozzle in a safe direction. Never operate a pressure washer near small children or pets.

7. Before storing, relieve the pressure in the system. Also, run a cycle of water through the machine to eliminate any detergent residue and give the unit time to cool down before storing.

Source: Briggs & Stratton

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