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. While it is a wonderful time of year to clean gutters, power wash 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.

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 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.

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 but for repainting a room, repairing drywall, or simply using power tools 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. 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. This way 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.

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. If you are working with drywall or insulation, however, 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.

Sunscreen

Using sunscreen will also help prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If you are working outside be sure to cover exposed parts 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 hundreds of people in the U.S. are admitted to the ER in the summer for severe sunburns.

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 ticks and mosquitos can harbor painful and long-lasting diseases. You should also find an all-natural bug spray that contains catnip and rose geranium. Studies have shown that catnip can be as effective as DEET in deterring bugs and rose geranium essential oil (diluted of course) has been used for many years to deter ticks.