DIY Safety Tips

Taking on home improvement projects can be fun and save you money, but do them safely. Here are some tips to stay safe while you do-it-yourself.

  • Keep a stocked first aid kit near every work area. First aid may make the difference between a quick recovery and permanent injury.
  • If you decide to install a fire extinguisher in your workshop, learn how to use it.
  • Keep hazardous materials out of children's reach.
  • Read the labels on products. If you see the words, “Caution,” “Warning,” “Danger,” “Poison” or “Keep Out of Reach of Children” on the label, store the item in a safe place using child safety latches.
  • Read the directions before using a product or tool.
  • Use gasoline as a motor fuel only.
  • Gasoline must never be used indoors, because its flammable vapors can be ignited by even a tiny spark.
  • Store gasoline in an outdoor shed or garage, out of children's reach. Store it in a child safety container approved for gasoline storage.
  • Oily rags can self-combust. Hang them outside to dry. Then throw them away in a metal can with a lid.
  • Wear goggles, ear plugs, masks, hard hats and safety vests if the directions say to do this.
  • If you allow someone to watch you work, make sure they wear protective gear too.
  • Wear chemical safety glasses when using hazardous solvents and cleaning products.
  • Wear safety glasses with side shields when using power tools.
  • Keep children out of your work area.
  • Do not wear any loose or dangling clothing or jewelry that could become caught in moving parts.
  • Keep your work area clean and free from clutter.
  • Keep power equipment in good condition. Repair or replace damaged tools.
  • Read and follow manufacturer's instructions and warnings on tools, power equipment and building materials.
  • Use heavy duty extension cords for tools such as trimmers and edgers that are listed by a testing laboratory such as ETL or UL for outdoor use.
  • Unplug the power cord before you do any trouble-shooting on a tool that is jammed or won't start.
  • Never walk away from a plugged-in-power tool, even for a few minutes.
  • Follow basic ladder safety rules whenever climbing.