FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 18, 2007
S.C. FORESTRY COMMISSION OFFERS CHAINSAW SAFETY ADVICE FOR HOMEOWNERS
(Columbia, SC) -- Summer weather means gusty storms and weakened trees tend to “fall” victim to violent weather. Last night, wind gusts at Columbia Metropolitan Airport reached 75 miles per hour. That’s hurricane strength.
The sounds of chainsaws could be heard in nearby residential areas soon after the storm as homeowners began the task of cleaning up the debris from fallen trees and limbs. The South Carolina Forestry Commission recognizes these tools are handy, but if used incorrectly become dangerous, even deadly machines.
Here are some safety tips and chainsaw techniques from Paul Watts, Forestry Commission Fire Chief:
- Protective equipment includes more than just goggles. Chaps, gloves and hearing protection should be worn at all times.
- Downed trees and limbs can be under a lot of stress. Watch for moving pieces when your chainsaw relieves that stress. A chainsaw operator can be pinned or injured from suddenly moving limbs.
- Watch for “kickback” from the chainsaw. Your operator’s manual offers tips on how to avoid this.
- Avoid cutting over your head or from a ladder.
- If you don’t know how to tackle a clean up or if the job is too big, hire an experienced and insured professional from the phone book.
- Children should never be allowed to operate a chainsaw and should be kept away from downed trees.
- Be aware that a fallen tree may have taken a live power line with it.
- Never operate a chainsaw alone. Have a buddy or responsible family member on hand if something goes wrong.
Paul Watts teaches chainsaw safety to South Carolina Forestry Commission employees as a part of the agency’s regular technician training curriculum.
For more information, contact Scott Hawkins (803) 896-8820