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Safety Mistakes Common In DIY Home Repair

Here at ProMaster, we love it when homeowners decide to take a shot at performing their own home repairs. You can learn a new skill, save some money, and have a great sense of satisfaction from completing the task. Whether you’re a homeowner or a “Home Repair Hero,” however, there is always risk involved when tackling a home repair project. We here at ProMaster want you to finish your project still in one piece. So we thought we’d pass along some of the most common home repair safety mistakes we see homeowners and professionals make far too often. Avoid these mistakes, and you’ll be well on your way to completing your home repair safely.

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Safety Mistake #1: Missing Safety Equipment

safety-mistakes-equipment-promaster-cincinnatiYour mother always told you to “wear your helmet,” and “buckle your seatbelt.” Now that Mom’s not always there to check on you, you’ll need to pay attention to these kinds of things on your own. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t pay close attention to their safety equipment when they’re doing their own home repair.

It may seem minor, but doing simple things like wearing safety goggles, gloves, or a respirator could go a long way towards preventing injury or illness. For instance, the American Academy of Ophthalmology estimates that 90% of all eye injuries would be prevented by simply wearing protective eyewear. This includes sawdust from a table saw, drywall dust from sanding a newly installed ceiling, or just debris from sweeping the workshop.

Make sure you’re using the appropriate ear, hand, eye, mouth and nose protection, and you’ll avoid one of the most common home repair safety mistakes.

Safety Mistake #2: Poor Ladder Safety

Without question, ladders can be one of the most dangerous tools commonly found in a home. Each year there are more than 500,000 ladder fall injuries, with 97% of them occurring at home.

Whether you’re cleaning gutters, hanging Christmas lights, or just trying to get a frisbee off of your roof, you need to be careful. One of the most common safety mistakes is using a ladder against the manufacturer’s recommendations. What is the weight limit? Are you working above the steps or rungs meant to be weight-bearing? Is the ladder on a level surface? Are you near electric lines or working in inclement weather? These are all things you should consider when setting up a ladder for work.

Most importantly, never use a ladder alone. Having another person to stabilize the ladder for you and help move it can be a huge help. They’ll also be there to call for assistance should anything go wrong.

Safety Mistake #3: Going It Alone

You may have heard it said that “pride goeth before the fall.” Well, if an example of pride is “I can carry this myself,” then there might not be a more true statement. Trying to carry too much, too far, can be a major problem waiting to happen. Not only do you run the risk of injuring yourself, you are also likely to drop the thing you’re carrying, breaking it as well.

When you’re carrying a heavy object in a remodel or trying to remove a fixture from the wall, be sure to have someone with you. Even if the item is light, its shape may make it awkward to carry. If it is breakable, it’s always better to have an extra set of hands. And hey, what would you rather injure, your pride or your back?

Safety Mistake #4: Getting Your Wires Crossed

“Black to black, white to white.” Seems easy enough, right? Many people, however, get in over their heads on electrical work without fully understanding what they’re dealing with or what the risks are. Handling electrical work and making a mistake could mean a serious jolt, or even worse.

One safety mistake people sometimes make is not flipping the breaker and working on wires when they’re live. While this is rare, many people do try it. A more common mistake, however, is flipping the breaker but finding out the hard way that it was the wrong one. If you’re changing an outlet, lighting fixture, or wall switch, there is an easy way to find out if the thing you’re about to work on is “hot” or not. Using a voltage meter to test for current will assure you that there is no current flowing in the wires you’re about to handle.

Common Home Repair Safety Missteps

There are far more problems than the ones we’ve listed here, but avoiding these missteps could help you prevent an injury or worse. Remember, saving a bit of time or money and taking the risk may cost you both time and money down the road. Be sure to make safe choices when performing your own home repairs!

Need a Hand? Call ProMaster!

If you are in need of some assistance with a home repair project in the Cincinnati area and don’t know where to start, no problem. Just contact ProMaster! Our team of craftsmen would love to help you with your home repair needs. Simply call 513-322-2914, schedule online, or use the “Reach Out” form at the bottom of this page.

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