Felling a tree can be dangerous. There's a reason why logging is one of the most deadly jobs in the world.
Using razor sharp blades on a chainsaw to cut down huge trees that weigh thousands of pounds is a recipe for disaster if you don't know what your doing.
If you own a chainsaw, chances are you plan on cutting down a tree.
To help prevent accidents from happening, it's important to understand the proper way to cut down a tree and some of the dangers that exist.
Whether you use the trees for firewood or are just clearing some land, following a few basic safety rules can help save your life.
1. Wear protective equipment and think chainsaw safety! Protective chaps, gloves, steel toe boots and safety glasses are essential for keeping you safe.
2. Look at the tree to see which way it naturally wants to fall. Is it leaning towards one direction? Are most of the branches on one side of the tree?
3. Look up! Loose or busted branches called "widow makers" high in the tree can fall causing injury or death. Always check the tree before cutting to see if any loose branches are waiting to fall down.
4. Which way is the wind blowing? A stung gust of wind can make felling a tree difficult and dangerous. Cut firewood when the winds are calm. A blowing tree can be unpredictable and it's never safe to cut down a tree in strong winds.
5. Are you cutting alone? Always take someone with you into the woods. Having someone else around when you're cutting firewood could save your life.
6. Use a sharp chainsaw chain. A dull chain will cause you to force the saw through the tree. Use a sharp chain and let the saw do the work.
7. Look for holes or rotten spots in the tree which could cause the trunk to snap or splinter. If the tree is too rotten, it might be too dangerous to cut and should be left alone.
8. Using ropes and wedges can help direct the tree to the area you want it to fall.
9. Clear an area around the tree to allow you to quickly escape if needed. Brush, small sapling and branches should be cleared away so you can have an escape route.
10. Be patient and don't rush. A lot of times we cut firewood quickly and try to cut as much as possible in a short period of time. Being in a hurry is one of the most dangerous mistakes you can make. When we hurry we get careless. Slow down, take your time and be safe.