Before the Event
Chain saws can be hazardous, especially if they "kick back." To help reduce this hazard, make sure before purchasing your chain saw it is equipped with a low kickback chain. Look for other safety features on chain saws, including hand guard, safety tip, chain brake, vibration reduction system, spark arrestor on gasoline models, trigger or throttle lockout, chain catcher, and bumper spikes.
- Always keep your tools in a state of readiness. Just before June 1, the start of hurricane season, is a good time to examine your chainsaw to ensure it is in proper condition. A poorly maintained chainsaw is extremely unsafe.
- Keep the chain lubricated. It won't cut efficiently if it isn't lubricated properly. Don't use motor oil to lubricate. Buy bar and chain oil for this task.
- Maintain proper tension on the chain. Check the tension often and never allow it to sag. Improper tension can cause the chain to snap.
- Keep the chain sharpened. Your chainsaw should cut through wood without requiring much downward pressure.
- Check the fuel filter occasionally to insure small debris has not accumulated and clog the filter. The fuel filter will need to be replaced every two years or so.
- Clean the spark plug occasionally. You can tell when the spark plug needs cleaning when it has black residue on it.
- If you need a replacement chain, be sure to buy the correct size and type and install it carefully according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Ensure you have an adequate supply of fuel for the chainsaw.
- If you have an electric chainsaw, be sure you have a cord on hand that is the proper length that is rated for outdoor use.
Updated October 2013