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Leaf Blower Etiquette

At one time or another, we have all been awakened by a leaf blower in the neighborhood, and while they are an essential tool in maintaining a tidy yard, the leaf blower, or should we say the operator of the left blower can be at times an annoyance. But with a little awareness and courtesy, cleaning one’s property doesn’t have to be a disturbance to the public.

  • Operators should look up frequently and be aware of anyone entering the area. This can also mean vehicles which may have windows open as they pass the working zone.
  • Be mindful of play areas with children and remember that dust kicked up from blowers can travel a short distance away.
  • Follow local laws and only operate power tools during the appropriate ‘working hours’.
  • Use lower blower speeds which produce less noise and dust. This also helps to save fuel!
  • Rake plant debris into piles first to reduce the amount of time spent operating the leaf blower.
  • Make sure to use the blower tube and hold it close to the ground, helping to reduce the amount of dust that becomes airborne.
  • Invest in updating your equipment. Newer leaf blower models have quieter, more efficient motors, helping to reduce noise and air pollution.

In 2008, Arizona adopted a number of laws addressing the use of leaf blowers (A.R.S. 49-457.01.) These include:

  • Limited use of leaf blowers on High Pollution Advisory days.
  • Banning blowing debris into the street.
  • Banning the use of leaf blowers on dirt fields, road shoulders or on loose dirt.

Training personnel to have leaf blower etiquette can help keep the disturbance at bay while showing the property owner a little respect as they walk through their community. Operators should also follow safety procedures for their own protection. For more details on leaf blower training, safety and use, go to http://legacy.azdeq.gov/environ/air/download/Leaf_Blower_Training.pdf.

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