After the Event
Following a severe storm or hurricane, homeowners will be anxious to get outdoors and begin cleaning up fallen trees and broken tree limbs, work that in many cases will require the use of a chainsaw. Whether you have a little experience or lots of experience using a chainsaw, it's always beneficial to keep a few safety practices in mind. Remember, a chainsaw operating at full throttle moves at 50 miles per hour!Do
- Read the owner's manual carefully before operating a chainsaw.
- Keep the cutting area clear of spectators and pets.
- Work with a partner if possible.
- Wear protective clothing: a hard hat, goggles, sturdy shoes, gloves and trim-fitting clothes.
- Note any overhead hazards, including hanging tree limbs and utility lines.
- Be careful with fuel. Fuel the saw at least 10 feet from sources of inginition.
- Stay on the ground, don't cut from a ladder.
- Stand to the side when cutting.
- Cut at full throttle; bring the saw up to speed before starting cuts.
- Keep both hands on the saw handles.
- Let the saw come to a complete stop before reaching for the chain or blade.
- Cut wood only. Don't allow dirt and rocks to touch the chain.
- Be careful with small branches — unweighted limbs may spring back when cut.
- Adjust the depth gauge setting every time you sharpen the chain.
- Maintain proper chain saw tension. A loose chain can come off the guide bar and strike you.
- Shut off or engage the chain brake whenever the saw is carried more than 50 feet, or across hazardous terrain.
- Touch a hot muffler.
- Cut above chest height.
- Use the bar for leverage; it's there to guide and support the cutting chain.
- Bury the tip in the wood.
- Push or force the saw. Let the saw do the work. If you find that you have to push, stop and sharpen the chain.
- Refuel a hot saw.
- Drop-start the saw.
- Operate a saw when using alcohol, drugs or when you're fatigued.
Updated April 2013