Home Repair Safety

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One of the more common reasons for people to wind up in the emergency room is because of accidents. While there are lots of types of accidents that could result in injury, do-it-yourself home repair accidents are pretty high up on the list of reasons to visit the ER. This could be due to carelessness, misunderstanding of tools, or simply not paying close enough attention to the job at hand. Keeping your work space safe is essential to completing a job as well as avoiding medical bills.

1. Keep your work area free of clutter. This may seem obvious, but give your work area a once over and assess what really needs to be there versus what is getting in the way. If you have extension cords in a heap on the floor but aren't using a power source, nix the cords. Should there be a box of nails sitting precariously on the edge of your work bench that you do not need, put them away. While these precautions may seem like little things, they can quickly turn into big things if you trip over that extension cord or wind up with a nail in your foot.

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2. Wear the proper safety attire. If you are working in an area with flying debris, wear eye protection. Don't be like this guy who wound up with a three inch long nail imbedded in his skull. While eye protection may not have saved him an injury since the nail came at him so fast, it might have helped deflect the nail and stopped it from penetrating his face. Also important are gloves, hearing protection, and respiratory barricades, depending on the job you are completing.

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3. Use tools properly and do not improvise. If you do not have a tool, borrow, rent, or buy what you truly need to get the job done safely. If you attempt to rig up some sort of contraption, the only thing you are truly setting up is your own failure. Even if the added expense puts you out, make sure you have what you need to complete your projects without having to attempt something uncertain with the capability of it backfiring on you.

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4. Read instructions thoroughly and follow them at all times. I am the worst about not wanting to read instructions and have paid the price for it many times. Taking the time to read instructions may seem like it will slow you down but in truth it will not. What does slow you down is when you have guessed wrongly how to do something and have to back track or even start over from square one.

5. Keep a first aid kit nearby. Having a few simple items in an easily accessible location can go a long way when things go awry. You can build your own first aid kit or buy one at a drugstore or big box store. The type of items you will need are some adhesive bandages, sterile/antiseptic cleansing pads, instant cold compresses, gauze, tape, plastic gloves, butterfly closures, a tourniquet, antibiotic ointment, burn cream/salve, and some sort of over the counter pain killer. While these items will not solve every problem you might encounter, having something to get you off to a good start is certainly better than having nothing and standing there bleeding.

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Taking precautionary measures while you perform home repairs are in your best interest as well as those around you. Oftentimes when we begin projects, there are others in and around the home, so you need to take into consideration the safety of those people as well. To help prevent danger, inform others of your work plans and requirements before you get started. Ideally you will have a work area all to yourself, but life is seldom ideal and sometimes we have to adapt and overcome to get the job done.

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