Our Top DIY Safety Tips For 2017
Posted on 6th Jan, 2017 | By Lorretta Tatham
It’s finally that time – 2017 is a brand new year, with brand new things to look forward to. Before we do that though, we’ve got to clear up a bit after 2016, so we’ve all got a few tasks facing us right out of the gate. With that in mind, we’ve got some tips for you to stay safe during some of these DIY excursions.
Given the weather we’re all too used to in British wintertime, it’s likely that at some point before the end of the season you’ll be faced with the task of cleaning your gutters. By its very nature, this can be a very precarious job, so safety is paramount at all stages. You’ll need a safe and sturdy ladder, preferably one with a shelf that’s spacious enough for a small bucket to collect debris. Before you climb your ladder, inspect it for any obvious dents, faults or defects, and for added security, fasten it to the wall with a lanyard.
Before going up, make sure you have the right clothing on – hand and eye protection is essential. Thick suede material is best for your gloves, as it provides sufficient protection against both sharp protrusions on your gutter, and any filth (such as animal droppings) that may have accumulated up there. Once atop your gutter, a plastic gutter-scooping tool is best, as a metal one can scratch the seams of your gutter, opening it up to rust.
Hand-eye protection is similarly important when venturing up to your garage. The relative safety of this space can vary according to its size and how often you find yourself up there, but it’s still a good idea to wear clothing that completely covers your skin. Not only does this protect you from errant screws and other sharp objects, but also from insulation and other materials that could irritate your skin. A hoodie or a baseball cap can help you protect your head in a similar manner, although care must be taken nonetheless. Meanwhile, goggles and a disposable respirator or facemask can help protect your eyes and lungs from dust and other hazards.
When moving things up to the attic, it’s once again crucial to be mindful of your ladder, and the amount of weight it can take. It might be tempting to toss everything into a single large, heavy box and have the job done in half the time, but it also makes it twice as dangerous, putting a lot more strain on your ladder. Once you’re in the attic, use a strong torch to see where you’re going, and watch your step!
As the Christmas season wanes, your garage is another place you’re likely to find yourself storing and re-storing things. Garages are home to some of the most dangerous tools and chemicals – in many cases too dangerous to be kept around the house. It’s a good idea to split your garage into two sections – a high-traffic area, where you know you’ll be coming and going to store wrapping paper, outside furniture and odds and ends – and a more closed off area, to keep tools like chainsaws along with dangerous chemicals like paint thinners and pesticides. If possible lock these items away in cabinets, well out of the reach of children. (Obviously, when bringing things in from the house, it’s the higher-traffic area you’ll want to use for more mundane storage.)
Also, regularly test your garage door, especially if it’s mechanically operated. Occasionally, sensors fail – in the better case scenarios an erroneously closing garage door crushes the occasional car bonnet. In the worst case, a person might find themselves under it. For this reason, it’s crucial to check it regularly, making sure that everything in the mechanism is responding exactly how and when it should.
Whatever your DIY list for January, you can never go wrong by adhering to the most basic safety principles: go slowly and carefully, and always check for obstacles or hazards as early as you can – forewarned is forearmed!
At Browns Safety Services, safety is what we do. Our expert training courses are guaranteed to equip you for even the most difficult of DIY situations, and we are supremely qualified ladder inspection professionals. To find out how we can help you, feel free to call us today on 01282 615517!
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @brownssafety