Prepare power equipment for winter

, it’s time to put away your spring and summer outdoor power equipment, such as lawn mowers, leaf blowers, chain saws and trimmers, and get out what you will need for winter — snow throwers, generators and other small-engine equipment.

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, an international trade association representing more than 100 power equipment, engine and utility vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, offers tips to help home and business owners prepare for the weather change.

First, review your owner’s manual for your equipment. Re-familiarize yourself with how to handle your equipment safely and any maintenance needs. If you lost your manual, you can usually find it online.

• Service all your equipment. Before storing equipment, clean and service it yourself or take it to a small-engine repair shop.

For instance, drain and change engine oil and dispose of old oil safely. Service the air filter and perform other maintenance activities as directed by your service manual. Check all winter equipment and see what maintenance and repairs are re-quired, as well.

• Recharge the battery. If your equipment has a battery, remove and fully charge it before storing or to ready your winter equipment for a sudden, unexpected weather event.

• Handle fuel properly. Unused gas left in gas tanks over the winter can go stale, and it can even damage your equipment.

For equipment you’ll store over the winter, add fuel stabilizer to the gas tank, then run the equipment to distribute it. Turn the engine off, allow the machine to cool, then restart and run until the gas tank is empty.

For winter equipment, be sure you know the appropriate fuel for your equipment.

• Shelter your equipment from winter weather. Store your spring and summer equipment in a clean and dry place such as a garage, barn or shed. Winter equipment should also be away from the weather elements but available for use when needed.

• If you are getting out winter equipment, such as a generator or snow thrower, review safe handling procedures.

Familiarize yourself with your equipment, making sure you know how to turn the machine on and off and how to use the equipment safely.