If you break a hammer, you can buy a new one. A dull saw blade can be sharpened. In your arsenal of home improvement tools, nearly every single one of them can be replaced if they get damaged. The only exception? Your body and your mind. Here are a few home improvement safety tips that could save you a trip to the emergency room, not to mention and lifelong debilitating injury.
- Dress for Safety. Obviously, with any project, wearing the proper safety gear is essential. Eye protection, earplugs, gloves, and dust masks should be standard items in any home improvement task. But also worth consideration is what not to wear. Loose, dangling clothing, as well as long, unbound hair or hanging jewelry can be incredibly dangerous around spinning tools such as saws, drills, and sanders. Shorts and short sleeved shirts should also be avoided in situations where broken glass or extremely high heat is possible.
- The “Four to One” Ladder Rule. Many home improvement tips and tricks require the use of a ladder to reach ceilings, siding, or gutters. “A frame” ladders conveniently do not require the support of a wall, but they are not the ideal choice for each job. If you must use a leaning ladder, remember the “four to one” rule when placing it. For every four feet of height, the base of the ladder should be one foot away from the wall. Less than four to one will increase the chances of the ladder falling backwards, while more than four to one will place undue strain on the ladder. If the height is not an exact multiple of four, get out the calculator. (If the base of the wall is recessed deeper than where the ladder actually contacts the wall above, be sure to measure your four to one ratio from the plane of contact, and not the actual base of the wall.)
- The Sharper, the Better. Some of the most important home improvement safety tips can be the most seemingly counterintuitive, and perhaps the best example of that is tool sharpness. Keeping your tools as sharp as possible may seem like a sure fire way to get cut, but the majority of injuries from cutting tools actually come from poorly sharpened blades, points, and edges. When an edge is not at its maximum sharpness, the user must provide extra force to get the job done, and it is that extra force, in fact, that causes most accidents. Proper sharpness allows your tools to work at maximum efficiency, which will get the job done faster, more efficiently, and with less dangerous strain on your part.
Among all the tips for home improvement safety tips should always be first on your to do list. The only irreplaceable tool in your workshop is you, so stay protected, stay efficient, and stay focused. All of that will help you stay safe.