A fire has been a traditional meeting place for thousands of years, and the slow cackle of flames licking at logs in a stove or fire pit is a big part of the hunt camp experience. However, chainsaws are tools that can be deadly if used carelessly. Before heading out to replenish your woodpile, brush up on your safety skills with these chainsaw safety tips.
Proper chainsaw safety leaves zero room for shortcuts. There are two primary rules:
- Never go into the woods alone.
- Keep a first-aid kit nearby.
Other important things to remember:
Use quality personal protection equipment including:
- Steel-toed boots with a good sole
- Protective leg chaps
- Helmet with face-shield
- Safety glasses
- Ear plugs or muffs
Maintain your saw according to your owner's manual:
- Use at least 89 Octane gas or better and two-stroke oil mixed at the rate your saw manufacturer recommends.
- Never store your fuel canister, or your saw, on concrete. Doing so can cause moisture to condense in the fuel system.
- Replace your fuel annually.
- Check and clean the air filter and spark plug on a regular basis.
Learn how to operate your chainsaw properly:
- Read the owner's manual. There are a number of chainsaws on the market and every brand and model has differences.
- Keep your saw's chain sharp and adjusted to the proper tension.
- Know where the chain brake is and ensure that it works.
- Always test the throttle interlock, which prevents accidental depression of the throttle.
- Make sure the chain catch is functioning properly. The chain catch prevents from striking the user should it come loose from the bar.
Know how to safely drop your tree:
- Check for overhead hazards such as limbs that might get in the way and stay alert to trees that could fall from the vibration of your tree hitting the ground.
- Determine which way your tree will fall by gauging the natural lean of the tree and looking for any obstructions that could deflect it.
- In thick brush, cut two escape routes leading away from the backside of the tree at 45-degree angles.
- Always notch large trees to guide their fall.
- As your tree falls, use one of the previously made escape routes to back away while watching the tree fall. Do not turn your back on the tree or run.