Stay Safe While Doing Home Improvement Projects
Each year thousands of homeowners are injured doing home improvement projects around their homes. Home improvement projects can be dangerous so it’s important to be prepared and outfitted properly in order to protect yourself. Below are some simple tips that will help keep you safe during your next project.
First Aid Kit
One of the most important things you can do to be prepared for projects around your home is making sure you have a properly stocked first aid kit. When accidents happen it’s really important to have a proper first aid kit. It’s also important that the kit be fully stocked with supplies that haven’t expired.
The Red Cross recommends the following items in a family first aid kit:
- 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
- 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
- 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
- 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
- 5 antiseptic wipe packets
- 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
- 1 blanket (space blanket)
- 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
- 1 instant cold compress
- 2 pair of nonlatex gloves (size: large)
- 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
- 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
- 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
- Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
- 2 triangular bandages
- First aid instruction booklet
Save Your Eyes
Eye injuries are one of the most frequently occurring injuries and also one of the most preventable. Eye protection should be at the top of your list and the cost is minimal. It’s best to air on the side of caution and use eye protect for most home improvement tasks. From nailing and screwing to sanding and painting, all of these tasks can potentially cause harm to your eyes.
Lately I’ve been using 3M safety glasses in the shop and really like them. I really like this pair of traditional glasses because they are comfortable and durable.
Don’t Forget Your Ears
Most home improvement projects won’t immediately hurt your ears but the lack of instant pain doesn’t mean you’re being safe. In fact, prolonged exposure to loud noises can mean permanent hearing loss. Lots of tasks may seem harmless like sanding, hammering, mowing the lawn, or using a pressure washer. But each of those tasks performed without hearing protection can lead to long term hearing damage that cannot be reversed.
For Father’s Day this year my kids got me a pair of 3M head phones with a built-in radio. These are great for mowing the lawn and listening to the ball game!
Don’t Work In The Dark
Being prepared with the right clothing, right tools, and good visibility are keys to working safe. Often times home improvement projects involve dark places like basements, attics, or tight spaces under equipment. It’s extremely important to prepare the work site with proper lighting. Today there are so many small yet bright lighting options from flash lights to work lights.
I really like using small LED task lights that I can position near my work. LED’s last much longer on standard batteries and they are far brighter than old style work lights. Energizer has been making some great work and tasks lights including the Energizer Fusion LED Folding Lantern.
Be Prepared for Fire
Lastly it’s so important to be prepared for fire. Every home should have working fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide alarms. It’s crucial that you have one or more working fire extinguishers in an easily accessible location. Be sure everyone in your family knows where they are stored and how to use them.
I recommend you purchase an A-B-C extinguisher which is a multi-purpose extinguisher that you can use on ordinary flammable materials, flammable liquids, and even electrical fires. Be sure to check it yearly to be sure it’s fully charged and ready when you need it.