Working on a home improvement project can be risky if you’re not completing the work safely.
You’re using tools and materials that are strong enough to build and repair structures, so they have the potential to do harm if you’re not careful.
There are many precautions you can take— some vary depending on what you’re completing. Here are six safety tips that can apply to any new home improvement project.
1. Evaluate Your Tools Beforehand
Checking your tools before starting a project is more than knowing you have what’s needed. You need to ensure that your devices are safe to use.
Carefully evaluate any blades and ensure they are attached correctly to their base or handle. Do not try to glue a broken blade back onto a tool, as it becomes a hazard. It’s best to replace the tool or borrow one from someone else.
You also want to ensure that the blades are sharp enough. Dull blades are more challenging to use than sharp ones, creating more risk of injury.
Also, check that any power cords are fully intact before plugging them in. Uncased or broken electrical wires are dangerous and can lead to shocks or burns.
2. Keep a Clear Space
When you work on a project, you must keep the surrounding area clear of any obstacles that could cause you to trip or slip. You also want to protect anyone else that may enter your work area.
It helps to lay your tools out ahead of time and place each one back after use to prevent injury from occurring. Ensure that you don’t leave any sharp or heavy objects out when you step away from an area where other people or animals might enter.
If you’re working with power tools, unplug them after you finish using them to clear the floor of any cords.
Once the project is complete, sweep up any dust or debris to minimize allergies and prevent the ingestion of particles by small children or pets.
3. Dress for the Project
To protect yourself while working on your project, you should wear the proper protective clothing and equipment.
Goggles help prevent flying dust, wood chips or sparks from injuring your eyes. Gloves can protect your hands from cuts and callouses. Don’t wear loose clothing around blades and wear closed-toed shoes with traction to prevent slipping.
Wearing the right clothes is an easy way to protect yourself from accidental injury.
4. Don’t Take Risks
Tackling a project on your own feels rewarding, but knowing your limits is essential.
You should leave most plumbing, electrical and gas line work to those with professional training. These projects can easily lead to significant damage and severe injury.
It’s good to have someone else nearby when completing a project, especially if you have heavy materials. Don’t attempt to lift something you aren’t sure you can handle.
Also, never get on a roof or high surface without someone else present and aware of what you’re doing. Keep someone nearby to call emergency services if you’re unable to do so.
5. Read the Instructions/Warnings
If you’ve done something before or watched someone else do it, you might think you know how to complete a project. You might, but it’s still important to read your instructions before starting.
Using an item for the first time might be different than what you’ve previously seen or experienced and trying to do it without knowing could lead to injury.
Be sure to read any warnings posted on tools, materials or chemicals before using them. These are important for knowing what you can and can’t do with each item and what safety equipment is best to use.
6. Keep a Stocked First Aid Kit and Phone Nearby
You never expect anything to go wrong, but accidents happen. It’s good to prepare for unsavory situations by keeping treatment and communication options nearby, just in case.
Keeping a stocked first-aid kit close for cuts and burns is good. Keep any wounds clean and covered to prevent infection and further injury. If you get injured and begin to feel unwell, stop the project and seek medical advice.
Keep your cell phone nearby to call for help if you get injured while working. Make sure it’s charged and somewhere you can reach from your workstation.
By having these items close to you, there’s a higher chance you will be able to quickly and easily address any accidents.
Staying Safe During Home Improvement Projects
Taking the right safety measures when working on a home improvement project is essential. Doing so will allow you to get the job done while avoiding injury and minimizing the risk to others involved.