It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when tasked with any sort of home repair. From plumbing issues to painting cabinets, the thought of the cost and hours spent on these fixes can seem daunting. On one hand, you can call a professional to make simple repairs for you, but at what cost? On the other hand, you can do the repairs yourself, but it may take much longer and be more dangerous than anticipated. Do-it-yourself projects should be done very carefully and thoroughly, after reading all necessary safety tips. Here are some of the most common home repair hazards that can be prevented by following simple safety tips.
Chemical injuries, such as respiratory problems, burns, and eye injuries are among the most common house repair injuries. Chemicals are used for many purposes in the home: cleaning with bleach (or other cleaning products), painting walls and cabinets, and removing mold, among others. It’s easy to neglect basic safety measures with chemicals because it’s easy to underestimate their strength or ability to be toxic.
To prevent chemical injuries, there are very specific warnings given for all types of chemicals:
- Always use chemicals in properly ventilated areas. Open windows and use fans to help avoid respiratory injuries.
- Wear gloves when using chemicals. Wearing gloves can protect your hands and arms from chemical burns. Be sure to avoid touching your face while wearing gloves with chemicals on them.
- Wear protective glasses.
- Avoid mixing chemicals with other chemicals. Be sure to read the warning labels on each chemical you are using. Most chemicals, like toilet bowl cleaner and ammonia, can produce very toxic fumes when mixed with other chemicals.
According to the National Safety Council, in 2013, 175,790 Americans were injured on ladders. There are many different scenarios in which ladder injuries can be sustained. No matter the scenario, the cause of the injury is always the same: falling. Its apparent that you should only climb a ladder if you are comfortable and confident. There are also other safety measures that should be taken in order to prevent serious injuries from falling off of ladders:
- Always use the right ladder for the job being performed.
- Never put a ladder on wet, sticky, or soft surfaces.
- When using a straight ladder, never lean it against a window or any unstable surface.
- Ask a friend to spot you while you are on the ladder.
- Make sure the area around the ladder is free of messes and clutter.
Injuries caused by electricity can be as small as a shock, to as serious as a fatal jolt. Because of the complexity and seriousness of electricity, most jobs should be done by a professional. However, simple tasks such as changing a light bulb or small rewiring tasks still require safety measures to avoid injury.
In order to be prepared and safe while working on electrical devices, there are several steps to take:
- Turn off the sources of electricity before handling it.
- Clear all clutter from electrical wiring and power outlets.
- Never perform electrical repairs near water.
Injuries from Sharp Tools
There are many types of home repairs that require the use of sharp tools, such as scissors, saws, knives, and chisels. It’s obvious that when working with sharp tools, there’s a risk for cutting yourself or others. By being prepared and following this extensive list of safety measures, you are giving yourself and others the best chance of avoiding injury:
- Choose the appropriate tool for the job. An incorrect tool could lead to improper use and injury.
- Never use dull or broken tools.
- Use the tool appropriately. When using a sharp tool, always cut/push away from the body.
- Wear safety gloves and glasses when appropriate.
- Take appropriate/safe measures when transporting tools from one place to another.
- Always store sharp tools in a toolbox or concealed area.
Injuries from home repairs are very common, but they can easily be prevented. There’s no need to risk hurting yourself or others by ignoring safety precautions. If a home repair makes you uncomfortable, or if you are not confident in your ability to stay safe, please seek the guidance or help of a professional.