Best Practices

Safety equipment being used while blowing leaves

The City's leaf blowing ordinance outlines the minimum requirements for leaf blower use.  There are extra steps you can take to be considerate of your neighbor and ensure the safest possible use of your equipment.

Speak with your neighbors regarding the use of leaf blower equipment, within permissible dates and hours, so that needs for quiet time can be balanced with needs for accomplishing maintenance work.

  • Be considerate of neighbors, pedestrians and others nearby.  Some may have respiratory illness or allergies that could be triggered by flying dust and debris.
  • Be aware of surroundings. Do not use in close proximity to children playing, people reading, school groups gathering, or others nearby.
  • Do not blow toward open windows or doors.  If possible, do not use within 10 feet of windows or doors.


  • Check equipment regularly for proper operation.
  • Use leaf blowing equipment at the lowest possible speed/throttle to accomplish the task.
  • Use the full nozzle extension so that the air stream can work close to the ground.
  • Do not use for construction dust, plaster dust of dry soil.  Spray dusty areas with water before using blower.
    Do not use blower to move large mounds of debris from one location to another.
  • Use rakes or brooms for heavier debris and to loosen debris from corners and edges.
    You may not blow debris onto adjacent property, the street, catch basins, gutters, vehicles, people or pets.


  • Use ear and eye protection as well as face masks.



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Dept of Public Works

147 Hampshire St
Cambridge MA 02139


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