Becoming a Do it Yourselfer is a great way to save money. Working on your own house, cars and gadgets can save you a lot over time. The downside is that some of these DIY projects can be really dangerous, so I wanted to go over some essential safety tips that every DIY enthusiast needs to keep in mind.
Experienced DIY ers have personal safety checklists they have developed over the years of working on projects. It may be in their head or written down, but it’s always good to keep basic safety in mind when you start to work on things. Hot tubs, car ignitions, car batteries, hot water heaters and home electrical circuits can all be dangerous if you don’t use lots of caution.
One of my rues is that I don’t work with power tools and chainsaws if I’m alone. I want to have someone else available in case I’m injured.
I also don’t continue working after I get really tired. Tired people make mistakes. Not only is that not safe, it can also cost you a lot of money or time if you make mistakes and have to do something over or mess it up.
I recently purchased a new tool that came with a list of safety rules. I thought it was a great list that really covered working with any piece of powered equipment.
- Read the directions before using the tool. You might think you know how to use the tool, but it’s probably better not to learn by trial and error when fingers and toes are at risk.
- Work with someone when possible. It’s especially helpful to work with someone who’s experienced, but even just having someone who can get help if needed is reassuring.
- Be extremely careful when working with electricity. Cut off circuits if possible,
- Use your tool properly and avoid damaging.
- Work in a clean workspace. Clutter can cause a host of problems, including causing you to fall, making it harder to reach what you are working on, and even becoming a projectile.
- Work in a well-lit area. If you can’t see well, you run a much greater risk of hurting yourself and making mistakes.
- Never allow children in work area. You can teach older kids to work on DIY projects, but you don’t want younger ones underfoot or deciding to play with dangerous implements.
- Wear appropriate work clothes. Loose clothes can get caught, as can hoodie strings. I also tend to wear full covering and heavy boots to protect against injuries.
- Store your tools appropriately when not in use. You want to be able to keep them clean and out of the reach of children and pets.
- Use hearing and eye protection.
- Maintain balance and do not overreach.
- Properly maintain your tools.
- Use common sense.
- Replace damaged parts and tools.
- When replacing parts, only use identical parts.
- Never work while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Let the professionals do the difficult and potentially dangerous jobs.
Ladders are a great tool, but you need to use them with cautions. Over 90,000 emergency room visits are related to ladder injuries each year, and you can get seriously injured in a fall.
I was using our 24 foot extension ladder recently, and the safety tag came off in my hand. I had never read the safety label, but found a lot of good information. Some of this is a repeat of my tool list, but it bears repeating.
- Make the proper ladder selection with the appropriate weight rating.
- Inspect the ladder before each use to make sure it is not damaged and is clean. You don’t want something slippery on the rungs!
- Consider before each use. Use common sense. Watch out for electrical lines, don’t use in high winds and make sure the soles of your shoes are clean.
- Make sure the ladder is set up properly on firm level ground.
- Store ladders carefully, out of the elements and out of temptation for kids.
The best way to learn safety is to work with other safety conscious do-it-yourselfers and to learn from them. That’s not always possible, and when it’s not proceed with caution.
Remember that a serious injury can be a lot more expensive than hiring a professional so don’t do things that are beyond your abilities to do safely. Stay safe!
What are your best do it yourself safety tips?