Avoid A DIY Disaster This Summer

Thanks to warm weather and longer hours of daylight, summer is the season of choice for many home DIY projects. When the sun comes out, people around the world get started on all those little projects they’ve been putting off both inside and outside the home. However, DIY is one of the most dangerous activities that many people are likely to undertake. There are a wide range of hazards involved.

Following a few simple tips and precautions will help to prevent your DIY efforts ending in disaster, and instead safely strive to ensure that the job is completed to the highest standard you can manage.

Wear Appropriate Safety Gear

Many DIY enthusiasts take a very casual view of specialist safety gear. However, if you want to be sure that you will not experience injury or other problems as a result of your project, it is a good idea to ensure that all necessary protective clothing is worn, along with other wearable safety items such as dust masks.

It is usually a good idea to put together a safety kit before you begin, containing all the necessary safety gear that you might have to wear while carrying out work. One thing this should always include is appropriate footwear. Depending on the type of work you intend to perform, this could simply be sensible shoes or something more heavy-duty such as steel toe-capped boots. If using certain types of machinery such as chainsaws, specialist trousers that resist cutting are also recommended. Other items that may be necessary include goggles, ear defenders and dust masks. If you are using spray paint, be aware that you need a specialist mask rather than a normal dust mask.

Electrical Safety

There are a number of steps you can take to ensure you remain safe from electric shocks. One of the most common causes of electric shocks while carrying out a DIY project is drilling into a wall and hitting a live wire. To avoid this, buy or borrow an electric cable detector. This will help you to figure out where wiring is before you drill and avoid an accident. If your project involves actually working with your home’s electrical wiring, for example to install extra sockets in your home, then make sure you turn your home’s power off completely. Even if you are quite confident when working with electricity, it is not worth the risk when a simple flick of a switch could protect you.

If using electric power tools, other precautions will be necessary. To minimise the risk of electric shocks, make sure that you plug them into an RCD adaptor before plugging them into the mains. If you are using a cutting implement, be as careful as you can not to cut the wire. If you should happen to slip and slice through the wire, make absolute sure that you disconnect it from the mains before reattaching it.

Best Practices

There are several best practices that should be observed in order to prevent injuries and accidents while carrying out DIY work. Many of these are down to common sense, but easy to forget or ignore when concentrating on your work. In particular, be careful with ladders. Check them before using them and ensure that you lean them properly. Never lean them at an angle of more than 70 degrees. Do not overreach while standing on a ladder, and ideally have somebody on the ground holding the ladder.

Make sure you know how to use any power tools properly. If you have hired a tool that you do not normally use, ask the hire firm for a demonstration. Also, observe basic yet important safety precautions such as ensuring that you lift heavy objects with your legs and do not twist your back while lifting. Keep children and pets well away from any areas in which dangerous work is taking place. Above all, do not bite off more than you can chew. If you are not entirely confident in your ability to perform a dangerous task safely and effectively, get professional help. Failing to do so could lead to injury, and even if you escape unharmed it could prove to be a false economy if the job is not completed to the standard you wanted.

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