Sunday, June 26, 2011

Safety Tips for the DIY Dad

With summer shortly upon us, it’s a great time to be reminded about home-reno safety. It’s the time of year when many fathers are on the cusp of getting (or getting out) tons of tools, renovation gear and outdoor products and ready to tackle home projects after being cooped up all winter. These home-reno dads (and divas too) may likely have toddlers and small children around them watching what mom and dad are doing. It’s the perfect time to set a safety precedent while they are doing their home repairs!
DIY’er are most likely making their “to do” lists – and checking it twice – ready to tackle the home and yard projects that have been put off all winter. Itching to get out the circular saw, nail gun or drill, what most DIY’ers often forget to grab is the important safety gear that should be top of mind before flicking the “on” switch or getting started on the project.
For years it’s been “drilled” into our minds to wear seat belts in the car or a helmet when on a bike ride, yet when it comes to wearing protective eye gear or ear muffs when using dangerous and loud equipment like a saw or running a compressor, weekend warriors have an invincibility attitude when it comes to home repairs.
Too many times even the simplest home project go awry, most of which could have been easily prevented with some sort of safety gear. What DIYers fail to remember is that no project is too small – it can be the smallest piece of wood that can puncture an eye, a loud sound that could damage hearing or miniscule dust particles that could affect a respiratory system.
Wh’Eye Not?
Do you like to watch the beautiful sunset? See your kids play at the park? Well, something as simple as throwing on a pair of safety glasses* can ensure a lifetime of sunsets and smiles from loved ones. From mowing the lawn to cutting baseboards your eyes are valuable – why not protect them?
Say What?
The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association says one in 10 people in Canada have some degree of hearing loss, and for people over 50, the number increases to one in five. Why increase your chances of early hearing loss simply because you didn’t want to throw in a pair of plugs or wear sound muffs*? Toss on a pair of so you can drown out the lawnmower or table saw in style!
Often home projects involve some use of toxic fumes like paint, adhesives, sawdust and other nasty particles that will weave their way into your system as you work – it’s as simple as throwing on a mask to prevent this from happening – not to mention looking super cool while you work! Become a home-renovation fashionista in your multi-purpose respirator*– ok you might look more like Darth Vader but your kids will think you are the best!
Other tips to consider when home safety is involved:
· Before you start a project prepare – know what you are going to need in terms of tools and make sure you have the appropriate safety gear on hand to compliment the project
· Remember to set an example – your kids are little sponges – show them that you care for them by caring for yourself and make it a standard to be safe
· Remember that you aren’t just a handyman doing some work around the house –you are also a sibling, friend, spouse, parent, or supervisor and those “someone’s” are counting on your safety
· Learn about the materials you are going to be using for your project, and the best way to work with them
· Make sure you concentrate and stay focused when working with tools or machinery – even a moment’s distraction could lead to harm
· Don’t get in “over your head” – if the project is too large or too complicated for your skill level, either take a course to upgrade your skills, or trust in the experts
· Don’t take your health and safety for granted; all it takes is a simple slip or error

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