Mark Chisholm, certified arborist and STIHL spokesperson, says, “People are in a rush after a storm and forget to look up and check if there are damaged tree sections teetering overhead.” For more on trees and storms, go to: http://www.learnstormsafety.com/safety101.html
According to the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, here are some key ways to prepare for the storm season:
Assess trees in your yard to determine which trees and/or limbs may come down during a storm. If in doubt, contact your local ISA certified arborist for an assessment or learn more about tree care at: http://www.treesaregood.org
Use pole saws or pruners to selectively cut dead or damaged limbs near your home or over your driveway. Make sure you always keep a firm footing on the ground, do not go up on a ladder, and stay away from electrical conductors.
Have a chain saw on hand for clean up, but first read and understand the instruction manual and ensure the equipment is in good condition. Make sure you are prepared to use a chain saw by:
– Having protective gear on hand such as safety footwear, protective gloves and eye, hearing, and head protection devices, as well as chain saw protective clothing.
– Having a clear work area, secure footing, and a planned retreat from the falling tree before cutting it.
– Ensuring the chain saw is not damaged or improperly adjusted, and is completely and securely assembled. Make sure the saw chain stops moving when you release the throttle control trigger.
– Following the manufacturer’s sharpening and maintenance instructions for the chain.
Make sure you understand chain saw “kickback.” “Kickback” may occur when the nose or tip of the guide bar touches an object or when the wood closes in and pinches the saw chain in the cut. Tip contact may cause a lightning-fast reverse reaction, kicking the guide bar up and back toward the operator.
Don’t work around power lines. One of the biggest threats to safety is downed utility lines. While an electrical conductor lying on the ground may appear harmless, they are considered “hot” unless tested and grounded! Do not touch it—no matter what! Contact a professional.
Do not operate power generators in enclosed areas. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can become concentrated in enclosed areas and cause serious injury or death.
You can find a list of safety tips for specific outdoor power equipment at http://www.opei.org/education/safety/tips-/