5 Home Improvement Safety Tips

June 2, 2016

June is National Safety Month. During the month of June, bees are buzzing, gardens are growing, lawn mowers are rumbling along, and home improvement projects usually begin or are already well underway. While it is a wonderful time of year to clean gutters, powerwash decks, and refinish your porch, you should always be aware of the hazards that come with home improvement. With a few simple home improvement safety tips, you can work on making your home look lovely without putting yourself in harm’s way. Here are five home improvement safety tips to keep in mind while you are working around your home:

1. Stay Hydrated

Always, always, always have a water bottle with you and refill it often. While it is ok to have Gatorade or iced tea with you throughout the day, water will be your best option to avoid dehydration. If you are working on a hot day, be sure to start early to avoid the scorching weather of the afternoon. This way you will be less likely to become dehydrated and exhausted. If you’re working outside or in an unairconditioned household, have at least a gallon of water with you that you can drink throughout the entire day.

You must be aware of the symptoms of dehydration as well. If a person stops sweating, becomes cold and clammy, or passes out, they are suffering from dehydration and possibly heat stroke. If this is the case, bring the person to a cool place immediately and give them water. They will need to drink slowly to avoid nausea. If they begin to show severe signs such as skin shriveling, confusion, or intense dizziness, it is time to go to the hospital.

2. Wear Safety Goggles

Goggles are incredibly important when working in or around your home. While you may not need them to put a picture on the wall, you will want them for repainting a room, repairing drywall, or simply using power tools. Safety glasses or goggles can help save your eyes from coming into contact with dust, liquids, and harsh gases and it may protect your face from any debris or toxins.

When you’re purchasing goggles, be sure to get the ones that are right for you. The first aspect to consider is if you wear glasses or contacts. You can get prescription goggles, but, if you are just doing DIY projects around the house, you may just want something to put over your glasses and forget about. Be sure to purchase goggles that fit tight around your head so they will not fall off at any time during your work. Once you’ve decided the shape of the goggles and have them fit to your head, you will then want to make sure they are always clean. The last thing you need when working with a circular saw is a huge smudge on your goggles that inhibits part of your vision.

3. Use a Mask

Masks come in different varieties, sizes, and purposes. For most work around the home, you will need a small facemask that will look similar to what doctors use. If you are working with paint or lumber, you will only need the simple small facemask. However, if you are working with drywall or insulation, you will want a facemask that either fits over your entire face or fits underneath your goggles to keep everything protected. You will also want a facemask with a filter so you are not breathing in harmful and painful particles of the drywall or insulation.

4. Wear Sunscreen

Using sunscreen will also help prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If you are working outside, be sure to cover exposed skin with a sunscreen containing 30 SPF or higher. You should also wear lightweight clothing to avoid heat exhaustion. The sunscreen will also help protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

Though it may seem like common sense to use sunscreen, hundreds of people in the U.S. are admitted to the ER in the summer for severe sunburns and many more are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. Regular use of sun protection strategies and proper use of sunscreen can help protect you both short-term and long-term.

5. Wear Full Coverage Clothing

When working outside, you will want your body to have as much protection as possible. Wear lightweight long sleeves and pants as well as a hat. This way, your skin is protected from the sun and any possible insects you might meet along the way. While many insects offer no real threat to you, ticks and mosquitos can harbor painful and long-lasting diseases. Having some bug spray in your toolbox for when you need to work around brush certainly doesn’t hurt either.

With these home improvement safety tips, you can keep yourself and your family safe as you improve and maintain your home.