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Firewood cutting safety is the most important thing to consider when cutting firewood.
After all, no amount of firewood is worth injuring yourself or others during the process.
To improve safety, there are several different items that can be worn to protect yourself.
Although they are an added expense, these items could save your life.
After you have purchased all of your safety equipment there's one final thing to remember......Take Your Time!
A majority of chainsaw accidents occur when the chainsaw operator gets in a hurry or gets fatigued.
A lot of times you only have a few hours a day to cut firewood and you want to get done as soon as possible.
It's always best to work at a slow and steady pace to prevent injury to yourself and others.
I like to start cutting firewood in the spring as early as possible.
A lot of times there's still snow on the ground.
For me, this is the perfect time because there's no bugs, the foliage is low and I don't feel like I have to rush and get all of my wood cut in a few days.
Safety glasses are clear plastic glasses worn to prevent debris from coming into contact with your eyes.
The lenses are usually constructed of a polycarbonate material that is shatterproof and lightweight.
Firewood cutting safety glasses are fairly inexpensive and a decent pair can be purchased for under $10.
A small investment to protect your eyes.
Another thing to consider when wearing safety glasses is to choose a pair that is scratch free.
A pair of old safety glasses that have been laying around for years are full of scratches and debris. This will reduce your vision and create an added risk.
Plus, if you have an old pair of safety glasses that you can't see out of very well, you'll be less inclined to wear them.
While cutting firewood, flying wood chips and branches are common.
Wear a pair of safety glasses to prevent injury to your eyes.
Earmuffs are worn over the ears to prevent hearing damage from continuous loud noise.....like a chainsaw.
Earmuffs are especially important to wear when cutting firewood because you're in close contact with the loud chainsaw for long periods of time.
They have a hard shell that covers the ears.
The shell is full of an acoustic foam that absorbs sound waves, protecting your ears from loud noises.
For me, wearing hearing protection when operating a saw is like putting on my seatbelt when driving a car.
Once you're used to wearing them, you don't feel right without them.
Stay away from foam ear plugs if you can afford too.
Foam plugs just don't work as well and a good pair of earmuffs will last a long time.
With earmuffs you have a few different options.
You can choose earmuffs that are attached to a hard hat and protective face shield to offer even more protection, or you can choose standard muffs.
I really like wearing earmuffs that have a built in FM tuner so I can listen to some music while I cut firewood.
Music makes everything better and cutting firewood is no exception!
Wearing steel toe boots can prevent falling logs from crushing your toes.
The boots contain a protective insert to reinforce the toe of the boot.
This reinforcement can help prevent against falling objects that come into contact with your feet.
Choose a pair of tall boots to prevent wood chips from getting into your socks while cutting.
The taller boots will allow your pants to drape over the top of the boot which helps repel wood chips away from your socks.
I purchased these boots at a local store for $25.
They are comfortable, lightweight, steel toe and are high enough to prevent wood chips from entering the boot.
The price was very affordable and by shopping around I was able to find a nice boot at a low price.
Protective chaps are designed to stop the chainsaw when the chain comes into contact with the chaps......protecting your legs.
The chaps are composed of a cut resistant material that clogs the sprocket of the saw, stopping the chain.
The chaps can be worn over your clothing and can help prevent against a serious accident.
A good pair of chaps generally costs under $100 and they are sold by a variety of manufacturers.
It's important to read the specifications for the chaps you own or purchase.
Some chaps do not offer protection against electric chainsaws due to their constant high torque.
I'll admit, chaps can be hot and uncomfortable at times but the amount of protection they offer is well worth the added discomfort.
I personally know a man who had his leg saved by a pair of chaps.
Every time I think about his story, I know cutting firewood without chaps is not an option!
Protecting your hands while running a chainsaw or splitting firewood is essential for firewood cutting safety.
It doesn't take long for an axe handle to create a blister on your hands or a sharp piece of wood to give you a splinter.
In my opinion, latex dipped gloves are the best firewood gloves you can wear.
The gloves are lightweight and give you a lot of dexterity which makes running your chainsaw simple, but they're strong enough to outlast even the best pair of leather gloves.
When I first started cutting firewood I only wore leather gloves.
They would last about half of the season before they developed a hole and I'd have to replace them.
The one thing I never really cared for with leather gloves was their lack of dexterity.
Then I discovered the latex dipped gloves which are amazing.
They fit so much better than leather, they last longer and they grip the firewood or axe handle a lot better too.
Once you experience cutting firewood with these gloves you'll never switch back to leather.
With modern technology just about everyone has access to a cell phone.
Although sawdust can be hard on the speakers and import jacks of a phone, having the ability to dial 911 in an emergency is important, especially if you're cutting alone.
If possible you should always cut firewood with a friend.
Using the buddy system will improve firewood cutting safety if someone happens to get hurt.
However, if you're cutting alone you should always carry some type of communication device.
Having a first aid kit in your truck is also a great idea.
With a variety of different injuries that could happen in the woods, access to a first aid kit is essential.
Firewood cutting safety begins with proper education and equipment.
By using the proper safety equipment and following safety guidelines you will decrease your chances of being injured.
Most people will go their entire lives and never have an accident while cutting firewood but there is always a chance the unthinkable will happen.
Pay attention, know your surroundings and always think about ways to increase firewood cutting safety.
Don't forget, having the items stored away in your barn or shed will not keep you safe. Wear them!