Buying and hiring
Hiring tools is an economic option to buying equipment we might use only once. There certainly is plenty of choice these days but what happens if you've never used a floor sander or a commercial paint stripper before?
The hire shop should explain to you how to use the equipment. If it does not, ask for a demonstration and a full set of instructions.
Check the equipment has been serviced and tested since last used - there should be a label to confirm this. Do not accept anything in bad condition.
If you do not have protective clothing, hire it with the equipment, and wear it. Generally, tools such as hand drills, hand and floor sanders and grinders need safety goggles and face masks for grit and dust. Ear defenders are advised for larger noisy equipment.
Chainsaws are very dangerous tools in the hands of the untrained, and can cause serious injuries if the saw kicks back into the face line or suddenly cuts through, cutting the legs.
If you cannot get a professional to carry out the work and need to hire a chainsaw then choose a model with two-handed control, a chain brake, chain catcher, tip guard and low profile blades. Never use one above waist height and only cut with the chain running at full speed.
Keep wrists straight and the left thumb positioned below the front handle. Ensure timber being cut cannot move.
Safety wear is crucial: visor, ear defenders, helmet, ballistic trousers or leggings, ankle protectors or gaiters, ballistic gloves and boots with steel toecaps.
But remember, some chainsaws (such as the 'top handled' variety) are only intended for use by trained operators and NOT by members of the public, under any circumstances.
Choose a model with two-handed controls, a blade-stopping time of less than 0.5 seconds and blade extensions. Always keep both hands on the handles. Wear goggles, strong gloves and ear defenders
If the shredder blocks or the cutters jam when in use, always switch off the power and, if petrol driven, remove the spark plug cap before cleaning. You need goggles, gloves, a face mask and ear defenders.
Use a model with heavy duty nylon line rather than a metal blade, a throttle lock-off switch, a wide guard and good balance - with a lower handle, for example. Wear goggles, gloves, boots and, for petrol versions, ear defenders.
For all of the above - read the instructions before use!
Wear eye protectors, gloves and strong shoes. Carry one pane at a time using cloths or pads. Do not try to catch a dropped piece of glass. Beware small shards of glass and sweep them up carefully.
The most dangerous piece of DIY equipment?
NAILS, SCREWS AND TACKS!
For every accidentinvolving a drill, there are ten from small and supposedly "harmless" bits of metal.
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