Just when you thought you couldn’t do it yourself, you can.
With home improvement stores popping up everywhere and TV shows giving quality instruction on how to be your own carpenter, painter, etc., it’s easy to take care of your home on your own.
While the number of do-it-yourselfers has grown over the years, unfortunately, so have the number of injuries. Spending big amounts of cash on home-repair and remodeling materials has risen, too. But while attempting to do D-I-Y projects, homeowners often sustain unexpected injuries. Why? Because many more people have started to work with tools for the first time. So, essentially, what may begin as a simple home improvement project can end up as an injury if a homeowner isn’t fully prepared.
The Stats Agree
According to its most recent statistics, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, reports more than 157,000 people were injured in incidents relating to using ladders in their homes. Nearly 100,000 received treatment for hand saw-related and power saw-related injuries. Screwdrivers claimed about 10,000 victims and hammers pounded wounds in more than 42,000 Do-It-Yourselfers. Bottom line: Do your homework before lifting a tool.
Whether it’s a simple “fix” of the kitchen faucet or an even bigger project, it’s key to follow safety precautions. Here are some easy home improvement tips to help keep you from potential trouble:
- Do read the manufacturers’ instructions before using equipment and follow safety warnings.
- Wear safety goggles to protect eyes from falling or loose debris.
- When working around electrical outlets, turn off electricity. Cleaning or working around these areas may result in electrical shock.
- Wear heavy gloves to protect hands if working with sharp objects.
- Dress accordingly for the project. Long pants, long-sleeved shirts and proper footwear may reduce injuries. Tie back long hair so it does not interfere with the project.
- Increase the ventilation in the workspace to reduce fumes and dust.
- Wear a mask to reduce inhalation of dust and other particles.
- Keep tools away from children and pets.
- Store tools properly and make sure they are in good, working condition.
- Use tools only for the purpose they are intended.
Common Sense and More
In addition to using common sense, homeowners should remember to use the right tool for the right job. For example, there are different types of circular saw blades and handsaws for cutting various types of materials. Depending on the material needing to be cut — wood, plastic or metal — a different saw blade is needed. Using the wrong blade could result in potentially serious injuries.
Keep in mind when doing your own projects cutting, sawing, etc., these are serious tasks. The right equipment and knowledge is important in preventing damage to the project, tools and, most importantly to the user.
Knowing the correct tools to use and how to safely use them are two things every Do-It-Yourselfer should learn before kicking off a home improvement project.