Knife Safety

Categories // Be Prepared, Handling Emergencies, Wilderness safety, Safety

Knife Safety

A pocket knife can be a handy camping tool. You can use it to cut twine, peel marshmallow-roasting sticks, and cut a piece of cake. But knives can also be dangerous.  Be sure to always use your knife safely by following these basic rules!

Remember that a pocket knife is a tool, not a toy.

Always keep your knife clean and sharp. If your knife isn’t sharp, ask a grown-up to help you sharpen it. Dull knives are dangerous because they can catch. If your knife isn’t clean (and dry) it can rust and be hard to close.

Before you open your knife, make a safety circle. Hold your arm out straight and reach it around to your right and left. No one should be inside your circle. If someone comes to sit next to you, it’s your responsibility to either ask them to move or close your knife and move yourself. It’s always a good idea to announce to the group that you’re making a safety circle that they shouldn’t enter so long as your knife is open.

When your knife is open, hold it by the handle the way you’d grip the handle of your bicycle. Never let your thumb rest on the back of the blade (if you push hard, you could close the knife on your fingers.)

Always cut away from your body. That means that the back side of the blade (the dull side) should always be facing your body. The sharp part of the blade should always be facing away. If you’re having trouble whittling this way, turn the stick around.

When you’re done using it, close the knife and put it away. To close a knife safely, hold the blade between the thumb and forefinger of one hand, while you hold the case with the other (making sure your fingers aren’t covering the slot for the blade!) Close the knife in a controlled motion. If you can’t close it, set the knife on the ground and ask an adult to pick it up and close it for you.

Close your knife before passing it to someone else.