NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — The first frost has hit, and the lawn should have had its last cut before winter sets in, so now it’s time to put away spring and summer power equipment and get winter power equipment set up.

According to a news release from the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), how and when you get equipment set up for seasonal changes can save you time and money.

“Preparation is everything. Understanding how to operate and maintain your equipment safely is key,” said President and CEO of OPEI, Kris Kiser. “Always follow your manufacturer’s guidelines and remember to keep kids and dogs away from operating equipment. What you do now when you put away your equipment also sets you up for an easier spring start.”

There are some tips that OPEI is sharing to make sure snow throwers are ready when the snow comes down and to help future you in the spring.

  1. Review the owner’s manual. You should make sure you know how to handle the equipment safely. If you happen to have lost a manual, you can find it online. If you can, save a copy to your computer so that you can pull it up if you need it.
  2. Service your equipment. Before you put away the spring and summer equipment, get it cleaned or service it. You should change the oil and air filter, and do other maintenance that’s directed from the manual. You should also check the winter equipment to see if anything needs to be repaired.
  3. Properly handle fuel/gas. Any fuel that is leftover in gas tanks over the winter goes stale, and can even damage equipment. So, before storing any equipment, you should add a fuel stabilizer to the tank, and then run the equipment to distribute it. Turn the entire off, let it cool, then restart it and run until the tank is empty. For any winter equipment, but the correct fuel less than 30 days before using it, and use fuel that has no more than 10% ethanol. If needed, use a fuel stabilizer.
  4. Charge batteries. You should remove and charge batteries fully before storing them away, and don’t store batteries on metal shelves, or let them touch anything metal. Store them on plastic or wood shelves in a climate-controlled environment.
  5. Shelter equipment. Store all spring and summer equipment in a clean, dry space like a garage, barn, or shed. Winter equipment should be away from the elements, but also easy to access.
  6. Prepare. Keep some space in a garage or basement to store larger yard items. Also make sure to remove sticks, debris, pet and kid’s toys, and other items from the yard that could damage or destroy equipment. Clean regularly used paths often, especially in the winter.
  7. Have weather-appropriate extension cords. Keep all the heavy-duty outdoor-rated extension cords easily available in case you need them for a generator. Make sure the cord is the right length. You should never operate a generator inside, in a garage, breezeway, or under an open window or an air intake for a building.