13 DIY Home Safety Tips
Whether you’re undergoing a huge renovation project or just hammering in a nail, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Here are 13 top tips from Meri-K Appy, former president of the Home Safety Council – Safe Kids Worldwide, on how to make your next DIY project a safe and successful one.
- Make a plan. Mistakes often happen when DIYers are “not well prepared or not properly trained to use certain equipment,” says Appy.
- Allow enough time to complete a job in case mistakes or setbacks occur. “People tend to cut corners in a hurry and this is when accidents happen,” says Appy. “Don’t rush through things.”
- Be well rested and “know your limits,” Appy says. Don’t push yourself – take plenty of breaks and stop when you are tired.
- Keep a well-stocked first-aid kit and a fire extinguisher in an accessible location while you’re working.
- Post an Emergency Contact List by each phone…just in case.
- Wear protective gear — hard hats, safety vests, protective eyewear and earplugs — to avoid damage from falling objects or high decibel noise. (Anyone in your vicinity should also wear protective gear.)
- Keep your work area clean and free from clutter.
- Read the safety and warning labels on tools and machinery. Those labels are there for a reason. Someone has experienced that injury or problem – learn from the example of others and wear appropriate safety gear and practice safety while using tools.
- Unplug the power cord before you do any troubleshooting on a tool that is jammed or won’t start. Never walk away from a plugged-in power tool — even for a few minutes.
- Stay grounded. Place the ladder on level ground and open it completely, making sure all locks are engaged.
- Practice the 4 to 1 rule. For each four feet of distance between the ground and the upper point of contact (such as the wall or roof), move the base of the ladder out one foot.
- Spot the safety step. Stand at or below the fourth highest rung on extension ladder, second highest step on a step ladder
- Practice the 3 points of contact rule. Keep two feet on the ladder at all times and hold on to a rung of the ladder with one hand. If your belly button passes above the ladder, you could be at risk for falling.