Don’t Be a Home Improvement Disaster
Before you take on a home improvement project, make sure you know how to do it safely.
Do-It-Yourself Safety Tips
Here are some WebMD-approved tips on staying safe while you
Take your time. "Rushing is part of being unsafe," Zenarosa
says. "You are probably trying to cram a lot into a weekend and end up
trying to do more than you should in one day." Make sure you are
adequately rested before you take on a new project, because the more fatigued
you are, the more likely you are to get hurt.
Be saw savvy. "All it takes is a split second to lose your
fingers," Zenarosa says. "Remember to leave the safety guards on the
saw and make sure that the plug is out when it is not in use. Never cut on
Watch your eyes. "Wear some form of eye protection anytime you
turn on a drill or any machine," says Angela Mickalide, PhD, the director
of education and outreach for the Home Safety Council, a Washington, D.C.-based
national nonprofit group that aims to prevent home-related injuries. "Look
for a pair that has been impact-tested."
Even wear safety glasses when you are hammering, says home improvement guru
Barbara K, the founder of Barbara K Enterprises Inc., a New York City-based
company that helps women do it themselves. "Bits of metal or other objects
can fly in your face when you least expect it, even with the most basic
Learn these ladder lessons. "Falling off of ladders is a leading
cause of injury and fatalities whether they happen doing a do-it-yourself
project, decorating a holiday tree, or trying to change the batteries in your
smoke detector," Mickalide says. There are 150,000 ladder-related injuries
in the home every year, according to statistics compiled by the Home Safety
"These injuries can be severe and [occur] mostly to legs, arms, and
torso," she says.
Though ladders can be dangerous, they are far safer than standing on a piece
of furniture, chair, or bureau to get work done, she says. "You want to
make sure the ladder is on level ground and the side locks are engaged,"
she says. "Always face the ladder when you are climbing it."