DIY: ‘Important’ safety tips ‘every homeowner should know’ before taking on a project

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With an increase in DIY projects, The Compensation Experts have teamed up with Thomas Goodman, construction expert at MyJobQuote.co.uk to provide tips on how to stay safe when tackling DIY jobs. This included how to prevent fires, wearing the correct clothing as well as reading instructions properly before starting any job.

The expert said: “When working on a DIY project, you should think about what you’re wearing. Wearing watches, bracelets, or long-sleeves or loose clothing can get caught in moving parts or power tools and cause an injury.

“Alternatively, keep things short and tidy, and invest in some essential PPE (personal protective equipment) like safety goggles, gloves, steel-toed boots and dust masks.”

To stay safe when doing DIY jobs, the expert also recommended keeping a fire extinguisher close by.

Thomas said: “Oily or solvent-coated rags should be stored in an airtight, metal sealed container, ideally half-filled with water.

“Dispose of the rags following your community’s regulations.

“Lighting can be a design issue in your home. But it’s all about safety in your garage, basement or shop.

“Use bright overhead lighting that you can turn on when you walk into your workspace.

“It’s also a good idea to have task lighting.”

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DIYers should avoid doing jobs when they’re tired too.

According to the expert, being tied can cut reaction times in half, and so jobs should be postponed until it’s safe to do so.

Thomas added: “You should also avoid using power tools if you had any alcohol or medication, as this can make you drowsy.

“If you’re working with others, ensure you always know where they are. Make sure that children or pets are kept away from the work area.

“While working, always keep electrical wires or cables behind you and avoid fraying and knotting them.

“Before transporting heavy objects, plan the route. Solicit assistance and stand close to the object with your feed spread. From the knees, bend and lift. Most importantly, maintain a straight back throughout the lift.”

Although it may seem obvious, reading instructions is a very good idea when it comes to using a new piece of equipment or doing a new job.

Settings should also be checked before using any tool to make sure they are used correctly.

The construction expert explained: “Power tools should never be left unattended. Unplug them before leaving the room and keep them out of children’s reach.

“Next, select a power drill with a non-conduction plastic body. Unplug it whenever you change drill bits.

“Never transport power tools by the cord, and when unplugging, grab the plug rather than the cord. This keeps the cord from fraying and becoming loose.

“Always keep the cord of the tool away from heat and sharp objects as well.”

DIYers should also take precautions when using ladders.

Thomas recommended keeping in mind the “one out, four up rule”.

He said: “This means that for every measurement taken away from the wall, multiply it by four to find the safest ladder angle.

“Overreaching or leaning to one side can cause you to lose your balance.

“When moving up or down, take your time. Always place the ladder on solid ground or non-slipcovers.”

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