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      Forestry service offers advice on chainsaw safety in storm clean-up

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) -- The South Carolina Forestry Commission put together a list of helpful tips for people planning to use chainsaws to clean up debris in their yards after the winter storm.{}

      Officials said the best thing people can do is hire a professional and insured crew to clean debris for them. For people who do hire a service, officials recommend asking for proof of property damage, liability and workman'scompensation insurance before hiring a tree service to do any sort of treework, and getting a firm estimate of the cost before proceeding. {}

      Here are some safety tips and chainsawtechniques from Forestry Commission staff:

      • Protective equipmentincludes more than just goggles.{} Chaps, gloves and hearing protectionshould be worn at all times.{}
      • Downed trees and limbscan be under a lot of stress.{} Watch for moving pieces when your chainsawrelieves that stress.{} A chainsaw operator can be pinned or injured fromsuddenly moving limbs.
      • Watch for "kickback"from the chainsaw.{} Your operator's manual offers tips on how to avoidthis.
      • Avoid cutting over yourhead or from a ladder.
      • If you don't know howto tackle a clean-up or if the job is too big, hire an experienced and insuredprofessional from the phone book.
      • Children should neverbe allowed to operate a chainsaw and should be kept away from downed trees.
      • Be aware that a fallentree may have taken a live power line with it.
      • Never operate achainsaw alone.{} Have a buddy or responsible family member on hand in casesomething goes wrong.
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