Springtime can be the season to catch the DIY bug. Replacing the cabinets, painting the shutters, planting some new trees – but let’s face it, nothing is ever as easy as it seems on television, especially when it involves taking on a home improvement project!
Here at Laredo Emergency Room, we know that spring is the season for tidying up and getting around to those home improvement projects that have been put off all year. We also know it is a time of the year where severe injuries can increase due to lack of safety precautions taken while tackling those home improvement projects. Whether it is finally cleaning out those gutters or completely revamping your backyard for the perfect outdoor barbecue, we want to provide you with some basic safety tips that can be applied to all of your improvement projects and make a significant difference when it comes to protecting yourself and loved ones.
The first and most important safety rule is to only take on home improvement projects that are you are capable of and prepared to handle. Meaning, if you’re afraid of heights, it might be best to leave the roof repairs to the professionals. This rule also applies to any projects having to do with electricity and especially gas repairs. If a home improvement project requires knowledge or training you do not possess, the general rule of thumb is to hire a technician, saving yourself the risk of a severe injury and costly damage to your home or even your person.
Another great safety tip to abide by is to be mindful about outwear when working on your DIY project. Working areas can become cluttered and crowded, making it easier for items to be tripped over or stepped on. You should always dress for safety. Wearing a long sleeve t-shirt, durable jeans, and close-toed shoes can save you from a lot of cuts and bruises that project sites can bring. If you are working on larger project or construction sites, think about wearing a hard hat to protect yourself from any possible head injuries, and glasses to shield your eyes from dust fibers that could cut your cornea. Gloves are also essential when handling wood, metal, or electrical wires.
If you are working on anything that requires a ladder, be careful knowing that gravity will always win! Make sure the ladder is placed securely on a flat surface, only work when it is light outside, and don’t work when the weather is bad to avoid any slips. This next tip should apply for all projects: avoid working under dangerous weather conditions. Bad weather can cause power outages, wet grounds, and bring other hostile elements into your DIY site, putting you at a higher risk for injury. If working on a project that requires the use of a power tool, make sure you have read and understood the manual fully before using. If you are accustomed to handling a power tool, make sure to keep up with the tool’s maintenance, like keeping the blades and tips sharp. This might not sound important but letting a tool’s blade or drill bit dull out will require you to place extra force on the tool while using it, allowing more opportunity for risk of injury.
Finally, be sure to have a fire extinguisher and a fully equipped first aid kit ready. These two items might seem like no-brainers, but from our experience, when an emergency arises these two items can be literally life-saving.
Taking on home improvements projects can be stressful enough, don’t make it that much harder by creating hazards for yourself. Although simple, these safety precautions can make a world of difference when it comes to your safety and self-preservation. We hope you find these safety tips useful in your home improvement projects this spring season!
Remember: if it seems too complicated to accomplish, its best left to the professionals.
For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.