Doing renovations around your home is a satisfying process, but it can be dangerous unless you take the proper precautions. Follow these seven tips to stay safe as you paint, repair, replace and renovate.
1. Maintain Your ToolsThe most dangerous tools are those that have not been well maintained. A sharp saw is safer than a dull one, and a loose handle on a hammer is an accident waiting to happen. Before you use any tools, check them for loose parts, dull blades and damaged cords. Be diligent about maintenance, and fix any defects as soon as the occur.
Before using any power tools, read the owners' manual to make sure the tools are properly adjusted. Never use tools without the proper safety guards, and check that all tools work properly before starting your project.
2. Use Ladders SafelyReduce your risk of injury and accidents by always locking a stepladder's spreader braces into place. Always face forward on the ladder, using both hands to grip the rungs or side rails. Never sit or stand on the bucket shelf or top two rungs, and lock all the doors in your work space.
3. Electrical SafetyNever work on live electrical circuits. Unscrew the fuse and unplug the circuit before you start working. Carefully check for loose wires and repair signs of stress or damage using electrical tape, enclosing fasteners or wire nuts.
4. Suit Up ProperlyWear the correct protective gear for the job. Cover yourself from head to toe if you are spraying herbicides or paint or installing insulation. Protect yourself by wearing a long-sleeved shirt, shoes, socks, safety glasses or goggles, head covering, long pants and appropriate gloves. Use a respirator and wear earplugs if needed.
5. Use Common SenseTackle only the tasks that you feel confident about handling safely. If the roof seems too steep or high to retile yourself, it probably is better left to the professionals. Jobs that require specialized tools should almost always be left to the pros, as are projects relating to electricity or gas lines.
6. Handle Paint ProperlyLead-based paints can be a hazard if not properly handled. Before sanding or stripping, test the surface of your project using a kit from a home-improvement centre. Before removing lead-based paint, use plastic sheeting and duct tape to seal off the work area. Wear protective clothing, use a respirator and protect your hands with work gloves. Rent a particulate vacuum cleaner to clean the space, and keep children, pets and pregnant women out of the home until all the dust is removed.
7. Keep Your Work Area TidyCreate a safer workspace by properly storing your tools, materials and power cords. Clean up as you go to eliminate hazards and reduce the chance of injury.
Kieren is a Home Renovation Specialist from the Gold Coast in Australia. He says that if you follow his 7 tips you will be safer when performing home DIY's. For design inspiration, Kieren often looks at Coral Homes display homes on the Gold Coast.