The free diy home improvement guide with answers to your questions on a wide range of do it yourself projects.

DIY safety

With any DIY work, safety should be given top priority.

Before using any tools, products, or equipment, read the instructions carefully and make sure you are completely familiar with their safe use. If you have any doubts whatsoever about how to safely use any material, equipment, or product, ask the manufacturer or supplier.

When working in the vicinity of electrical items or cables, make sure the electricity supply is off and the fuse removed. Be sure that others cannot inadvertently re connect the supply.

Keep the work area tidy. An untidy work environment easily leads to accidents. Off cuts of wallpaper, for example, may be very slippery underfoot. Trip hazards such as trailing electric cables must be avoided.

Always read the labels on materials to ensure that you know what safety precautions are required and action to be taken in the event of an accident. Many products give off harmful vapours. The recommendations regarding ventilation and/or respiratory protection should always be followed.

Ensure the work area is properly lit. When working in an attic, for example, use a suitable work light.

Keep flammable products away from possible sources of ignition – heat and sparks for example.

Wear safety goggles whenever there may be a danger of flying debris - for example when using power tools.

Wear suitable respiratory protection – typical dangers can include dust and solvents. Dust extraction equipment may be required – check the information manual.

Wear suitable ear defenders when working with noisy tools and machinery

Wear a hard hat in areas where work is being carried out overheard, or there is a possibility of falling materials, tools or debris.

Wear protective footwear.

Wear suitable clothing - avoid loose garments which may get caught in machinery.

Vibration from power tools and machinery can be a health hazard. Do not use for longer than the specified safe working time for the particular machine.

Keep children and pets away from the work area. Store all tools and materials out of their reach. Many products are toxic.

Keep other non essential people away from the work area. If others are also working in the same area ensure they are suitably protected as well

Be sure you know the correct way to use all tools and only ever use the correct tool for the job. Using a tool for anything other than its intended purpose can be very dangerous. Many have very sharp blades which, if used incorrectly, may lead to an accident.

Only use tools which have been properly maintained and are in good condition. Damaged tools should be professionally repaired. Never remove safety guards or modify tools in any way. Make sure blades- drills, saw blades, cutting discs and the like, are the appropriate ones for your machine and the material being worked on. Ensure that they are correctly fitted and adjusted.

Use all recommended safety equipment and protection for the tool, equipment, or product you are using.

Do not use electrical equipment in wet areas, or outdoors when it’s wet or raining. Ensure that electrical equipment is protected with an RCD device.

When using power tools, disconnect them from the power supply when not being used and, before making adjustments, or changing a blade. Secure items before working on them. Allow power tools to come to a complete stop before putting them down.

Check carefully for hidden services such as cables and pipes before drilling or cutting walls, ceilings, floors etc, or digging into the ground. If in doubt, get professional advice.

Take care with ladders and access equipment. Ensure that they are properly erected and stable. Be sure to double check the safety and condition of any working platform. Make sure that it cannot move or give way. Never use ladders on top of working platforms.

To guard against contamination and/or damage to appliances and boilers, new plumbing work should be thoroughly flushed through before connecting to the system. This will overcome the possibility of small amounts of debris remaining in the plumbing installation.

Only wash with proprietary skin cleaners. Do not use solvents or other chemicals.

Do not eat, smoke or drink while handling materials and wash before meals and snacks.

Never carry out DIY when tired or under the influence of drink or drugs.

Never dispose of chemicals into the drains.

Dispose of rubbish carefully. Lay oily rags out flat outside to dry to avoid the possibility of them spontaneously combusting

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