We are in the age of do-it-yourself projects and skipping contractors when planning projects around the house. Let’s face it, it’s expensive to pay for labor. However, watching YouTube videos and home improvement shows really does not give you all of the facts or prepare you for all of the precautions you need to take when deciding to forego the contractor and tackle the home-improvement project yourself. Below are important safety tips to follow before and during your DIY project.
Dress for the occasion. Before you even begin to gather your tools and supplies, be sure you are dressed appropriately. With sneakers or boots, no loose-fitting clothing that could get caught up in your power tools, hair tied back, jewelry removed… your ready to get started.
Regardless of what your project consists of, be sure to have the proper protective gear and precautions taken care of. If your painting, make sure you have a fan going and your windows are open. Be sure to wear safety glasses if your using any type of saw and hearing protection when using machinery. The necessary equipment will vary depending on the job, so prepare yourself ahead of time.
Before using any power tools, check them out carefully. Inspect the electrical cords. Be sure there are no frays or cuts in the cords. If there are, do not attempt to fix them. Either buy another or borrow one that is in good working condition. Always read the instruction manuals that come with your power tools. Become familiar with how your particular model works and if there is an emergency shut off you should be aware of.
Have a first-aid kit stocked and ready for emergencies. Granted, this is about preparing yourself to avoid such emergencies, however accidents do happen. Have gauze, band-aids and antiseptic wipes handy if they should become needed.
Following safety procedures should help avoid fires, but be prepared for a fire just in case. Always have a fire extinguisher readily available.
Be sure you have sufficient lighting. Whether your working outside, in your home or in your garage, always make sure you have bright overhead lighting. If the area is lacking adequate lighting, stop at your local home improvement store to purchase shop lights or spot lights, depending on your work area.
Invest in clamps or vices when you will be cutting wood or metal. Never trust that you can hold the object with one hand while trying to cut it with the other.
Chances are, you’re working on your home improvement project during nights and weekends. You likely have a full-time job to worry about and maybe a family to care for. Although its understandable that you would want to just keep on working to get it done, be sure to take breaks or stop for the day when you get tired. You might have the best safety equipment, adequate lighting and all the right work tools, but if you become to tired your reaction time will slow down, opening you up to potential accidents.
Regardless of the project at hand, from something relatively simple such as painting, to the more complex, such as building a new porch, taking the time to inspect your tools and gather appropriate safety equipment will only help to ensure your project runs smoothly and safely.