Storms strike, trees fall, and a trail of damage can follow.
After a storm blows through and the damage is done, clean-up is sometimes inevitable. Cleaning up after a storm is always easier when everyone pitches in to help. Chainsaws can be useful in storm clean up but can also be potentially dangerous tools if you, or someone else don't know how to use them properly.
Luckily, with some easy education and proper training techniques, chainsaw use can be safe and useful.
Educate yourself before the storm hits, even if you don't own a chainsaw. Being prepared can help avoid injury to yourself and others during clean-up. If you do already own a chainsaw, take some time to read the operators manual and get familiar with using the chainsaw.
Being smart about using a chainsaw to clean up after a storm is as simple as knowing your limits. If you are a beginner, don't tackle a task that's out of your league. Focus on smaller tasks, such as limbing, or removing branches from an already felled tree. Leave the actual felling to the more experienced chainsaw users.
There are certain techniques and ways to handle a chainsaw. If you are aren't educated and don't know how to properly use a chainsaw you could cause serious injury to yourself or others. Take some time to learn the proper techniques and safety precautions when operating a chainsaw.
To start the engine it is recommended to place the saw on a flat, even, part of the ground to give you a steady hold. Keep a firm grip on the front handle with your left hand and place your foot near the rear handle for better support. After you are in a supportive position, activate the chain brake and the choke, and then pull the starter handle, repeat until the engine fires. Push the choke until it is half throttle, then pull until the chainsaw starts. Accelerate so that the engine idles, then release the chain brake.
When using a chainsaw you should stand with your feet planted firmly on steady ground. If you are limbing, your feet should be comfortably apart and at a 45 degree angle to the tree trunk. Keep the branch you are cutting in appropriate reach at all times so you are not straining. Keep your balance when using a chainsaw and try to keep your feet as still as possible.
Avoid back soreness by bending your knees slightly when cutting, especially in low positions. Avoid bending your back when operating a chainsaw for a long time, this will help keep you steady and avoid soreness.
Safety should be your first priority when using a chainsaw. Chainsaws are useful, but potentially dangerous tools. Keeping alert to safety precautions can avoid serious injury to you or others. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind.
During clean-up, you may find yourself in a close proximity to others. When using a chainsaw you should try to stay at least 10 feet away from others. Always keep alert and aware of your surroundings when using a chainsaw. Turn the chainsaw off if anyone comes within the 10 feet range of where you are working to avoid serious injury.
Whether you are felling, limbing, or logging, taking your time is one of the best safety precautions to follow. Being anxious or rushing to complete a job can cause injury. Take your job branch by branch, working calmly and methodically. When limbing, start at the trunk on the right side, move to the top, and then finally finish with the left side. Repeat the process when moving on to the next branch. Depending on how much the branch weighs and the direction you apply the guide bar, try to use a saw with a pulling or pushing chain for more efficient cut.
Make sure the chain is stationary when moving short distances, such as to another set of branches. Hold the saw firmly and continue to your destination, making sure to keep alert for others around you. If moving longer distances, activate the chain brake and stay alert to keep you and others safe.
Kick back can occur if the chainsaw is not being used properly or if an uneducated person is using the saw. If the tip or nose of the chainsaw come in contact with a surface, this results in a lightning-fast reaction that kicks the chainsaw back and up at the operator. Avoid kickback by not using the tip or nose of the chainsaw to cut anything and keep your hands firmly wrapped around the handles at all times
Careful chainsaw use is as simple as being educated, using safety precautions and, being alert of the area around you. An inexperienced chainsaw user can cause serious injury to themselves or others in a short amount of time. Accidents can happen in a matter of seconds. Educate yourself by learning to use a chainsaw, taking chainsaw safety courses, and/or by contacting your local dealer for information.