Your home renovation plan must include safety measures in case anything goes haywire. Here, we sum up basic and helpful tips for your DIY project.
Never forgot protective equipment
Even if you’re skimping on materials, do not leave safety equipment off your list. Most of the basic safety gear you will need in your renovation are relatively inexpensive and readily available.
Here are some of the safety equipment you might need:
- Hard hats. Hard helmets in construction and industrial sites are typically used to protect one’s head from accidents caused by falling debris, tools, or accumulated rubble. The suspension bands that line the shell of the helmet and the head lessen the impact of head injuries.
- Respirator/dust masks. Most building materials like plywood, glues, and resins contain formaldehyde, a type of Volatile Organic Compound (VOC). If specific properties of VOCs are inhaled or even exposed to humans, they can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat; and even damage the lungs, kidneys, and nervous system. You can avoid this with a proper respirator or mask.
- Protective eyewear. Wear protective eyewear so you can shield yourself against vapours, dust, hazards, and heat.
- Ear plugs or muffs. Some complex tools may produce loud noises that can temporarily or permanently affect your hearing. For this reason, you might want to wear earplugs or ear muffs to lessen the impact of your tools’ noise.
- Gloves. Don’t underestimate the power of protective gloves. You can avoid cuts, abrasions, and other related injuries using an appropriate one. When choosing among the various types of gloves available, consider the project’s nature and the materials you will be dealing with. You can refer to their Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) to know which glove type best suits your project.
- For basic or minor construction – cotton/fabric gloves
- For handling liquids and chemicals – coated fabric, synthetic, chemical/liquid-resistant gloves
- For welding and heat-related construction – leather or kevlar gloves
- Coveralls. Covering yourself up with workwear that is flame and liquid-resistant can protect you from perilous elements. The good thing is, cover-alls such as this are readily available.
Maintain a clean workspace
Cleaning your work area is a precaution against potential risks. You may have unconsciously dropped a nail or two, which you can address by clearing the area of foreign materials every once in a while.
Handle your tools responsibly
Aside from cleaning, one thing to remember is never to leave your power tools unattended or plugged in. If you have children, keep your tools in a box and out of their reach. Simple precautions such as this can save your or your children’s lives.
Know which work requires help
You might consider hiring assistance if your DIY project involves plumbing or electrical work. Some of these projects may require specialised tools; thus, the handler must understand how to operate them. Incorrect tool handling might cause your renovation to go haywire or endanger you and your family.
Additionally, never demolish a wall without ensuring it is not load-bearing or has no power cables or circuits behind it. Contact a building design expert to be sure.
Schedule an inspection
The majority of houses that were built in the 1980s had asbestos and lead-based materials. When an asbestos-containing roof is damaged, the fibres are released into the air and can be harmful if inhaled. Meanwhile, lead-based paint residues are toxic. Scraping or peeling off your wall without assessing this risk might contaminate your food or water. These can put you and your children at risk.
If your home was constructed during these times, you could use a meeting with a building inspector.
Better safe than sorry
While planning your home renovation, include safety measures and ideas. If it will risk your lives, it pays to double-check. You’ll never know how much a simple safety precaution can save.
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