DIY Safety – Doing it yourself?
Spring and Summer brings longer days and lighter evenings, meaning many of us start to do a bit of DIY this time of year.
Some find DIY relaxing. Others find it frustrating. And, unfortunately, more than a few of us find it painful because DIY is one of the major causes of accidents in the home. ROSPA have estimated that more than 200,000 people go to A&E in the UK each year after being injured doing DIY or gardening at home.
So here are some tips that can help make sure you don’t need fixing up after fixing things in your home.
Before you start the job
However tempting it is to toss those instructions to the side, however well you think you know how to do a job, do always read any instructions first and make sure you have everything you need to complete the task properly and safely. That should include protective gloves, glasses, masks and headgear when needed. And always keep sharp tools safely covered to avoid accidentally stepping on them or injuring any other part of your body with them — it’s easy to do!
If the job could potentially be dangerous, don’t go it alone. Wait for someone to help or at least to be there in case anything goes wrong and you need assistance. And if you’re using a ladder, make sure it’s properly secured and it’s solid and stable. Don’t over-reach or stretch too far or the ladder might not be the only thing that goes crashing down.
If you’re not sure you can do the job properly yourself, call in a professional. But make sure they really are — beware of cowboys. Always get at least three quotes — be wary of any that are much cheaper than the rest. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. And discuss the job with your tradesperson beforehand and decide exactly what you want done, so there’s no room for confusion. Before they start work, make sure you have a detailed quote in writing, signed and dated. And don’t pay cash upfront.
Sites such as Mybuilder.com may help you find a local tradesperson.
Getting green fingered
If you’re giving your garden a makeover, or even just a tidy up, follow these all-important safety tips. A local DIY store such as B&Q should have all items required.
- Always use a circuit breaker when using power tools
- Wear protective gloves and glasses when you use a hedge trimmer.
- Don’t use a chainsaw to cut back trees unless you’re fully competent.
- If you’re laying paving or moving heavy ornaments or large branches, wear strong shoes, preferably with protective toecaps. This is not the time for flipflops, however spring-like the weather is.