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Be careful when using pressure washers

Photo: welcomia/iStockphoto

Pressure washers are a great tool for powering away dirt, grime and other stuff from aluminum siding, patios and sidewalks.

But their high-pressure stream can cause serious injuries, including wounds and tissue damage. They can also cause electric shock if not handled safely.

Help keep your cleaning project injury-free by following these tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Never point a pressure washer at other people or yourself.
  • Don’t push or move objects using the water spray from the washer.
  • Use gasoline-powered washers in open, outdoor areas only.
  • Plug the pressure washer only into a properly grounded receptacle.
  • If you’ll be using an extension cord, keep it out of standing water. Make sure it’s a heavy-duty cord with components rated for use in wet locations.
  • Wear rubber-soled shoes to help prevent electric shock.
  • Keep children a safe distance away from the pressure washer and don’t allow them to handle it.
  • Get medical attention immediately for wounds. Pressure-washer wounds may look minor at first but “can result in serious infection, disability and amputation if not treated appropriately.” You may need antibiotics and a tetanus shot.

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