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5 Safety Tips to Follow When Handling and Transporting Firewood

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Are you planning to use firewood to warm your home this winter? Assuming your home has an open floor plan with a fireplace somewhere in the center, you can build fires to easily and efficiently warm your home. Wood-burning fires produce excellent heat, and unlike a central heating system, they don't consume energy. However, you should follow some basic precautions when handling firewood to protect against injury.

#1) Wear a Sleeved Shirt

Always wear a sleeved shirt when handling firewood. It's unlikely that you'll carry a single piece of firewood at once. Rather, most people carry several pieces by placing them on the bottom of their forearm. If you wear a sleeveless shirt, however, the firewood will rub across your forearms, which could cause cuts and splinters. You can prevent this from happening by wearing a sleeved shirt -- or any other top -- when handling firewood.

#2) Wear Gloves

In addition to a sleeved shirt, you should also wear gloves when handling firewood. A pair of gloves will add a layer of fabric of your hands, protecting them from wood splinters. Without gloves, there's a risk of getting a wood splinter stuck in your hands. A simple solution is to wear a pair of heavy-duty gloves anytime that you pick up, move or otherwise handle firewood.

#3) Inspect for Pests

Before picking up a piece of firewood, take a minute to inspect it for pests. When properly stored, firewood shouldn't contain any pests. But there's always a small risk that spiders, centipedes, bees or other stinging pests can find their way into your stack of firewood.

#4) Carry Small Loads

Carrying smaller loads of firewood can lower your risk of injury. Some people stack as many pieces of firewood in their hands as humanely possible, believing this is a more efficient way to carry firewood. The more pieces of firewood you carry at once, though, the greater the risk of injury. Carry smaller loads of firewood to protect yourself from common injuries.

#5) Use Proper Lifting Practices

It's important that you use proper lifting practices when handling firewood. What does this mean exactly? It means that you should lift firewood by lowering your body to the ground using your legs rather than bending and arching your back. Even if it's a small load of firewood, bending your back will only stress your spine. Over time, this can lead to debilitating back pain.

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