Social media has successfully glamorized home renovation, especially during the pandemic. With people stuck at home with more time in their hands than they’re used to, more and more homeowners are trying their hand at DIY renovations. What many don’t realize, however, is that the majority of the published media they see were tailored to look easy and thoroughly satisfying. There’s also the fact that the people who do them are likely experts or experienced homeowners who’ve had lots of practice before.
One major pitfall of diving into your own home renovation with this idealistic mindset is that you open yourself to many personal safety risks. There are three, in particular, that you are likely to experience in varying degrees throughout your renovation project. Knowing what these are and taking extra measures to prevent them is the best way to minimize your safety risks.
Ladders are some of the most useful equipment used in renovations, and they’re also the cause of some of the most serious injuries. Depending on the height of the fall and the manner of your landing, you can fracture your limbs and receive a grave concussion. There’s also the possibility of electrocution when you fall while handling electrical equipment.
Successfully evading this hazard or saving yourself from an accident often leads to complacency in the future, which only opens you to greater chances of severe falls. To prevent this, you’ll want to take preventive measures by checking your ladder before each use. Inspect the joints to make sure that they’re not broken or loose, as these are the usual suspects of sudden falls.
Seemingly harmless attempts to add height to a ladder are also a big no-no in renovation safety. This means you shouldn’t put the ladder on elevated objects like tables because its stability is never certain. You’ll also want to have a wooden ladder ready when it’s time to deal with electrical installations.
If you’re personally dealing with exterior renovations that require you to work at roof level, using additional safety equipment is a must. Look for fall arrest equipment and learn how to use them properly. This way, if you do fall, you can rest assured that the injuries will be minimal at most.
The chances of getting electrocuted during a renovation are big. This is particularly true if you’re using power tools and dealing with wiring for the first time. You can experience sudden jolts that have no lasting effects on your health, but you can also experience a surge that will necessitate hospital treatment.
Oftentimes, electric shock happens due to carelessness. You might forget to cut the power when handling circuit breakers, or you could unknowingly use faulty equipment.
Some of the most important prevention methods you can employ include turning off the correct power source and checking your equipment’s functionality. You’ll also want to carefully inspect the cords of these tools because any nick can eventually lead to an electric shock.
Any time you’re doubtful about your ability to use a power tool or execute a task, opt to get the services of a reputable contractor.
The odors that fill the house during renovations aren’t only unpleasant. They’re possibly toxic. Never underestimate the fumes that come from adhesives, upholstery, and paint. Above all, you’ll want to watch out for gases that are undetectable using the human senses because you’ll likely only notice them once you develop symptoms like dizziness, chest pains, and asthma attacks. If you experience these, go to the ER right away and have a contractor inspect your house.
Keeping the house well ventilated is key to ensuring that these dangerous fumes are carried out of your property. Keep windows open and close off entry points from other rooms to prevent the fumes from spreading. It’s also a good investment to get a quality respirator so that you’re protected when dealing with things that emit these fumes.
Manufacturers label their products as well as possible to prevent you from combining chemicals and creating a toxic solution. Still, there are times when you might not understand the instructions or the specifications of the paint or chemical you’re supposed to combine with it. Again, when in doubt about mixing paints or chemicals, call the experts.
A Final Note on Safety
Home renovations call for a thorough education on safety measures that apply to the project and tools you’ll be using. Just because you’ve never fallen off a ladder, suffered from electric shock, or experienced the effects of toxic fumes doesn’t mean that you never will. It’s only by actively looking out for your safety and those of the people around you that you’ll achieve a successful renovation that involves as few injuries as possible.