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Household safety tips for DIY

Using Ladders Safely

Whether you own your home or rent it, most of us will, at some point, make some home improvements to our space. Whether it's as simple as hanging a shelf, changing a fuse, or something a little more ambitious, ensuring you and your loved ones' safety throughout your renovation is essential. 

But where do you begin? Thankfully, we've got you covered with our household safety tips for DIYers.  

Jump to: 
Prepare for DIY success
PPE - wear the right clothing for the job
Ladder safety - Keep these tips in mind
Tool safety – things to consider when using equipment
Be wary around electricity
Keep your work area tidy
Know when to call a professional

Prepare for DIY success

Home repairs are like dominoes. Improvements to one aspect of your home usually have a knock-on effect on another. For example, treating a damp or mould issue on your walls might mean you need to redecorate the room.

So, before you break out your tools and crack on, it’s important to thoroughly research the improvement you’re planning on completing. This preparation will equip you with the knowledge of the dos and don’ts involved with the process and familiarise you with the subsequent repairs that might have to follow. By being well-prepared, you can confidently tackle any home repair project.  

PPE - wear the right clothing for the job

The second DIY safety tip revolves around your attire. What you wear and protect yourself with during a home improvement project is of the utmost importance to your health. After all, the right clothing and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can minimise the potential risk of serious injuries.

As a rule, avoid wearing long sleeves, baggy clothing, watches, or bracelets when carrying out any home DIY jobs. These items can easily get caught in the moving parts of many DIY tools, such as angle grinders, electric saws, and power drills, causing injuries.

Depending on what home improvements you’re carrying out, investing in some basic PPE pieces is also a wise choice. Smart choices might include items such as tight-fitted safety goggles, heavy-duty gloves, a dusk mask, steel-capped boots, and earplugs if you’re using loud equipment.

Safety Equipment For DIY Jobs

Ladder safety - Keep these tips in mind

Ladders might seem like the most harmless of your equipment, but they can be one of the most dangerous and potentially fatal if you don’t follow the right DIY safety tips when carrying out your improvements. Every last detail matters when using a ladder or stepladder. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:  

  • Ensure you’re using the right ladder for the job at hand. 
  • Ensure the ladder is sturdy and has no weak spots before using it.
  • Position your ladder properly on a firm, level, and non-slip surface so it stays in place while using it.
  • If you position the ladder next to a door that swings outwards, make sure the door is locked before beginning your work. 
  • Never use a ladder alone. Make sure someone is below the ladder to steady the equipment while in use and always keep three points of contact on the ladder to reduce the chance of injury.
  • Finally, avoid carrying heavy materials or equipment up and down the ladder. 

Tool safety – things to consider when using equipment

Power tools can be a DIYer’s best friend, as they can often simplify home improvements and save time. However, they can also cause a whole array of problems if not used safely or properly. Here are some DIY safety tips to help you with power tools: 

  • Always use the right tool for the job. Never improvise and use a tool that isn’t designed for the job.
  • Read the manufacturer’s manual before using any tool, paying particular attention to the safety precautions.
  • Ensure the tool is in good condition and working order before use.
  • Never use a power tool with a damaged power cable or broken or disabled safety guard.
  • Never leave power tools unattended or left plugged in when not in use.
  • Unplug power equipment if you need to charge accessories, such as a drill piece on a power drill. 

For more information on what equipment should be in your essential toolkit, check out our guide on Home DIY tool kit essentials for renters.

Home improvement safety: Be wary around electricity 

We use electronics daily, so it’s easy to become careless about electricity. However, this can be a fatal error when carrying out home improvements. Electrical work should always be performed by an experienced professional, where possible. If you’re a Places for People Customer who lives in one of our managed properties, you can request a repair through your online account by calling 01772 667002 in England and Wales or 0131 657 0600 in Scotland. 

That being said, if you’re planning to carry out electrical work on your home, here are some basic precautions you should take:  

  • Turn off the power before working on or repairing any electricals. 
  • Always presume a wire is live until you confirm otherwise with a voltage meter. 
  • Remove any form of water from the area and dry your hands and tools before use; water is an excellent conductor, so it is best to be careful. 
  • Wear rubber sole shoes or stand on a rubber mat to avoid the chance of electric shocks. 
  • Always use the proper tools for the job. 
  • Never use a metal ladder when working with electrics.
  • Keep children away from electrics and wiring to avoid accidents. 

You might also want to read our 10 electrical safety tips at home.

If you are not comfortable performing a certain job or are unqualified to work with electricity, always seek the expertise of a professional.

Power Socket

Keep your work area tidy 

A messy workspace is not only inefficient but also a safety concern. Slips, trips, and falls are all common issues caused by an unorganised workspace. An untidy working environment is harmful to both humans and pets alike, who can walk into dangerous items and digest harmful chemicals.  

Taking the time to organise your tools, equipment, and workspace can prevent potential accidents from occurring and keep you and your loved ones safe.

Know when to call a professional

Some tasks are better left to the professionals, no matter how experienced you are at DIY, and it is important to know what they are. 

Jobs such as septic tank cleaning, changing electrical wiring, and specialist roof repairs all require the hand of a trained professional and the specialist equipment that comes with these roles. The slightest mistake can have the most significant consequences when performing these tasks. Not only could they lead to serious injuries, but they could also cost you more to repair in the long run. 

If you are a Places for People Customer living in one of our rented homes, you can request a repair through your online account or by calling 01772 667002 in England and Wales or 0131 657 0600 in Scotland.