Safety Tips Around the House

We all love to save money. Doing projects around the house ourselves keeps us from paying out big money for the things we can do.

Being handy around your home, you can keep things well maintained to help them last longer and run better.

Maintenance is an important part of owning a home, but while doing it, your safety is way more important.

The family handyman lets us know things you need to be aware of when doing work around your home.

I plugged a radio into the outlet and switched off breakers until the radio died. I figured it was safe to work in the box and proceeded to disconnect the wires from the outlet. Suddenly, I was knocked back by a jolt of electricity shooting up my arm. It turns out there were two circuits connected to the outlet and only one had been turned off. It’s dangerous to make assumptions about electricity. Always check the wires with a voltage tester and double-check all the wires in the box with a noncontact voltage tester before doing any electrical work. Elisa Bernick 

Dangerous sawdust

Our crew did a lot of new-home framing, and the last step was the roof sheathing. That involved lots of cutting up there: skylight and vent holes, gable ends, etc. I insisted on having a push broom on the roof and lectured the guys about sweeping the dust away after each cut. The young guns, of course, thought they were bulletproof and wouldn’t always do it. Then it happened. Joey’s feet went out from under him and he found himself tobogganing down the 5/12 slope and over the edge, then performing a perfect two-point plant on the ground. He was lucky we were building a single story! The broom got used religiously after that. Travis Larson

Travis Larson tells this ladder story: “I had a six-foot stepladder and I needed an eight-foot one. What to do? I know—I’ll rest it on planks that are resting on sawhorses. Brilliant! Nope, turns out it was really, really stupid. When I climbed nearly to the top, the planks slipped right off the horses like the undersides were greased. Of course, the ladder went down too. The saving grace was that I was near enough to the gutter so I could grab it before I followed the ladder. Fortunately it was strong enough to support my weight. I hung there and bellowed for help until my wife came out to see what the rumble was. She set the ladder back up—on the ground this time—and steadied it so I could ‘dismount.’” Ladders are one dangerous DIY tool. But you can avoid most accidents by following good ladder safety techniques—and using a little common sense.

Wrapped up and reeled in

I was using a large hole saw to drill plywood and leaned in close to apply pressure. The hole saw caught my T-shirt. In my panic, I accidentally pressed the trigger lock (I usually cut the trigger lock button flush to the tool to minimize this problem, but didn’t on this drill). The hole saw reeled in my shirt and climbed my chest. Luckily I escaped major injury, but I got some nasty spiraling teeth marks and a shredded shirt before I was able to turn off the drill. I learned two lessons: Avoid loose-fitting clothes around power tools, and be wary of trigger locks.

Jeff Gorton

These great tips will help keep you safer doing those projects that need to get done.

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