Pressure Washer Safety Guidelines
Squirt guns are fun and silly, and rarely cause harm above a soaked shirt or bit of water up the nose!
A pressure washer, on the other hand - a sort of squirt gun on steroids - while also fun to use, is definitely not silly and can cause damage far more serious than damp clothing if casually or playfully handled.
Pressure washers need a certain degree of maintenance to ensure safe operation and in spite of their performance strength, should be handled with care. Read all instructions that come with your pressure washer and always follow them closely. Doing this prevents accidents to you, your home and damage to the actual pressure washer.
Basic operating safety guidelines include:
- Never operate a unit with missing or broken parts, or without a protective cover.
- Before starting pressure washer in cold weather, check all parts of the equipment to be sure ice hasn't form anywhere.
- Never move the washer by tugging on the high-pressure hose - always use the unit's handle.
- Before operating a gas-powered washer, check, and fix if necessary, the fuel system for leaks or deterioration, such as a mushy high-pressure hose, loose clamps or damaged tank.
When undertaking a household power washing project:
- Remove all jewelry, watches, bracelets and rings from your hands to prevent abrasions or other injury.
- Do not use while standing on a ladder since the recoil of the pressure washer could knock you off.
- Never point the power washer at another person. Although the nozzle may look like a spray gun, it is very powerful and can cause serious bodily harm.
- Do not attempt to rinse your feet or hands with the water jet, it could literally peel your skin off, especially if you're using a hot water washer.
- As with any outdoor task that causes debris to fly, wear protective eyewear and protective clothing to stay dry while you are power washing.
Children are often fascinated with pressure washers, thinking of them like a toy water blaster. Stress to any child that might be watching as you spray off the deck or siding, that the powerful stream coming out of the washer has the power to etch brick and cut grooves in wood! Power washers should never be used by youngsters, even young teens, as serious bodily harm can result. If you have any concern that a child might try to operate your power washer when you aren't in the vicinity, consider keeping it in a locked area, or removing an easy-to-put-back part, rendering it impossible to start.
Pressure washers are equipped with safety features designed to reduce pressure buildup. Unloaders and thermal relief valves prevent heat and water pressure from reaching dangerous levels. An oil-level indicator ensures that the washer stays properly lubricated.
Safety must be your main concern when using a machine combining pressurized water, chemicals, and electricity or gasoline. Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully to avoid accidents.