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Top five practical DIY safety tips

Whenever there is a job that needs to be done around the home, you may consider doing it yourself. And although completing a DIY project can save you both time and money, there are also risks that you must be aware of.

So, whether you are just starting out in the world of DIY or you’ve got years of experience, here are five practical safety tips that you need to keep in mind while working on any project.

Wear the right clothes

It’s important to make sure you are dressed correctly for the job that you will be doing. This means, for example, when you are sawing or sanding and making a lot of mess the correct eye protection must be worn. Or, if you are painting, it’s sensible to wear overalls to protect your clothes from getting stained.

Removing any loose clothing or accessories such as ties and jewellery before beginning work also protects you from injury when they get caught in machines and tools.

Use ladders safely

Ladders are necessary for many DIY jobs in the home and the workplace. Before using a ladder, you should remind yourself that heights are dangerous and read the instructions and warning labels before you start. These can detail the ladder weight and height limits to make sure you are using the right ladder for the job.

To ensure your safety, always carry out a pre-use check. This includes inspecting the stiles, rungs and locking mechanisms. If you notice that any part of the ladder is damaged or broken, do not use it.

Never use aluminium ladders near utility poles or around electrical wires to avoid any electrical accidents, and never place a ladder in front of a door that swings outward (unless the door is locked) to avoid any falls.

Keep a first aid kit handy

No matter how many safety precautions you take, you need to recognise the potential for injuries. Keeping a first aid kit close by can help you to deal quickly with any cuts or injuries.

Make sure that the first aid kit is fully stocked with all the essentials that you may need including plasters, bandages, antiseptic cream and scissors. You could purchase a first aid kit from a pharmacy, or build your own by adding personal items to it as you wish from prescription medication to anti-allergy tablets.

Store all tools correctly

Safe storage should apply to any equipment that you use in a project, not just tools. By ensuring that all power tools are switched off and put back where they belong, and any equipment is returned to its original place, you can keep your area as safe and secure as possible.

Never carry electrical tools by their cords or pull a cord out of the electric socket aggressively as this may cause irreversible damage. Instead, always pull the plug instead of the wire when disconnecting the cord. Furthermore, keep all electrical cords safely away from sharp edges, oil and heat to prevent accidents.

Be gas and electricity aware

If you are completing a job and find yourself needing to toggle with gas pipes or electrical wires, it is best to take a step back. If you are trained and certified to work with gas and electricity then you may wish to continue – but if you aren’t, then it’s best to call in a professional.

Electricity can cause fatal consequences if you aren’t careful, which is why you should never perform electrical work when standing on an aluminium ladder, and never use tools with frayed cords or disabled guards.

The same principle applies to gas. Gas is an efficient power source, but it can be extremely dangerous, too. If you smell gas in your home, evacuate immediately and call your gas supplier or the emergency services to find out what happens next.

Author Bio: First Mats started life as safety matting specialists, but have since expanded to become a complete industrial and commercial supplies company. The focus of First Mats is to provide safety-focused products that improve the wellbeing of staff through quality approved products, backed up by extensive knowledge. www.firstmats.co.uk

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