Home improvement projects can be a lot of fun, and fixing up around the house is often a necessity; however, safety is often an overlooked factor when it comes time to climbing ladders and firing up table saws. Read over the basic rules of safety before beginning your next home improvement project, and make sure it all goes well.
1. Keep the work area clean. People become absorbed in their projects and the creative process, often discarding things as they go and forgetting about them. Cords, boards and other debris can spell danger as you maneuver around in a distracted manner, so place a large trash can right in the middle of your work area. Make a point of filling the trash can as you progress in the project.
2. Make sure tools and sharp objects are out of reach of children. Kids have a stealthy way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it, especially with a lot of noise and commotion going on. Remember that grown-up work and tools are really cool and may offer irresistible temptations to awe-struck little ones. Always leave things set-up so that they are inaccessible or unplugged. You could always set up a fun blockade and hang a "man at work" sign (or woman) with a happy face to separate kids with a safe distance.
3. Wear practical clothing that is safe for your activity. Anything you wear should fit close to your body to avoid getting caught on machinery, wood or other protruding objects. Dress in layers to protect skin from possible injuries from things like wood chips, and make sure your shoes can withstand falling tools and materials without damage to your toes.
4. Take extra care of your eyes. Table saws rotate pretty fast, and if an object flies out near your face, your eyes are extremely vulnerable. Wear goggles whenever you are doing something that entails flying bits or debris getting kicked up into the air and falling down from above. Eyes are very sensitive, and healing can be prolonged and complicated. Avoid exposing your eyes to danger in the first place.
5. Be cognizant of back issues. Most people give it their all when fixing up around the house, and that means heavy lifting and sudden muscle strains. Think about how you will feel come Monday morning when you need to get up for work. Back injuries are a leading cause of visits to hospital emergency rooms because people take on more than their bodies can handle. Get assistance, take it slow and always lift properly.
6. Keep a fire extinguisher handy. There should be two in your home at all times anyway, but when working with welding or anything else that produces sparks and heat, you need to be ready at the drop of a dime. Perform regular function checks of the extinguishers and store them in a highly visible, easily accessible location, such as right next to the well-stocked first-aid kit you should also have.
Too many home improvement projects end up sending people to the ER or physicians office; adopt adequate measures of safety in your home to avoid mishaps. Your project will turn out just as well if you don't cut corners or neglect important aspects of safety and you'll be able to enjoy them more fully.