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Safety Tips for the Do-It-Yourselfer

You may have all the equipment you need for your home improvement project – from power saws to paint brushes. But what about safety knowledge? According to the Home Safety Council, 1 in 5 people who attempt a home improvement project this year will be injured.

With that in mind, if you want your home improvement to be successful – and safe – you need to take some precautions.

Use Equipment Properly

Falls from ladders can cause serious injury, including broken bones. To reduce your risk, put the ladder on a stable, level surface. Ask someone to hold the ladder while you use it. In addition, avoid overreaching or stepping on the top rung of a ladder.

Keep tools and equipment in safe condition and check them regularly for defects.

Wear Safety Gear

  • Wear safety glasses when sawing, nailing, using power tools or working with concrete.
  • Add a mask and gloves when using chemicals or other harmful materials.
  • Slip on sturdy shoes or boots to protect your feet from nails and sharp objects.
  • Put on a hard hat if you could fall or if something could fall on you.

Create a Safe Work Environment

  • Make sure the area has adequate lighting.
  • Keep walkways and stairways clear to prevent tripping.
  • Avoid using paint and other flammable materials in poorly ventilated rooms. Fumes can make you sick or build up and cause explosions.

Use Caution with Dangerous Materials

Keep saws, paint thinner and other dangerous products locked up so young children cannot get them. Do not store these products in the same fridge as food, and be sure to keep them in their original containers with clear labels.

If your home was built before the 1970s, it may contain asbestos in the building materials or insulation. Breathing in asbestos fibers may cause lung cancer and other health problems. Call asbestos professional before beginning any major repair project.

If your home was built before the mid-1970s, ask your local health department how to test for lead. Renovations can kick up dust that contains lead, which can affect development and growth in children.

Sources: Home Safety Council, Consumer Reports, Krames Staywell

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