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7 safety considerations for renovating a home

14 February 2018

Renovating your home can be an exciting time. Improving the place you live in to better suit your needs and preferences is a big step, or perhaps you’re aiming to increase the value for its upcoming sale. Whether you’re completely redoing your home, or simply touching up your kitchen, it’s important to prioritise safety. These 7 safety tips will help keep you, and those around you, safe from the safety hazards involved with renovating a home.

 

 

1. Protect your head

Wearing a hard hat is one of those safety tips that seems obvious but is often disregarded. Your head, and its contents, are extremely important and delicate. Wearing a hard hat will protect you from both stationary and falling objects. A proper hard hat will also protect your head should you trip and fall.

A serious head injury should not be a risk or a result of a house renovation.

 

2. Lifting heavy items

Whether you’re completing a major remodel or simply repainting a room, it will likely entail some form of heavy lifting. Heavy lifting can put you and your back at risk of injury. With things like new fixtures or heavy equipment, it’s important that you lift correctly. Rather than leaning over the object, you should bend at the knees, keeping your spine straight, then lift the object, keeping it close to your body.

For heavier items like pallets of wood or bricks, you will definitely need lifting equipment such as a pallet truck.

Studies have shown that lifting a 10-pound weight while bending over puts up to 100 pounds of pressure on your back. Therefore, it’s important to lift with the proper technique and use appropriate machinery when required.  

3. Protect your lungs

Renovating your home can mean lots of airborne debris and fumes spread throughout your home. While painting, it’s a good idea to open as many windows and doors as possible. Ventilation is important for clearing out the dangerous fumes that can build up when painting. If you’re sanding down walls before painting, consider using a dust mask to protect your lungs.

Using solvent-resistant gloves while painting can also help protect you from skin irritation and damage.

4. Ladders

Just as it’s very likely that you will be lifting heavy items when renovating, you will likely also be using a ladder.  Improper use of a ladder can lead to serious injury so it’s best to ensure proper use of such equipment.

Ensure you check that the ladder is in good condition before use, making sure joins, foot rungs and the feet of the ladder are structurally sound. Clear the floor around where the ladder will be standing, removing any debris or wire.

When using the ladder, use suitable footwear and don’t try to reach an area that’s too far away. Take time to move the ladder and follow any weight restrictions.

 

5. Beware of asbestos

Asbestos is a very real danger, most commonly for houses built before the 1970’s. The issue with asbestos is that it can be in almost any part of your house, including insulation, floor tiles, roofing and the walls. If you suspect that there is asbestos, don’t hesitate to contact professionals to have it removed as it can be deadly.

 

6. Tool Safety

This tip is particularly important for those living in their home whilst renovating, and even more important for those with children and pets. While keeping the renovation site child and pet free is the best practice, doing so isn’t always realistic.

Tools, especially power tools, should be kept out of reach of children whenever they’re not used. If possible, you should remove batteries or unplug cords to ensure children can’t activate tools, endangering themselves.

 

7. Clean the work site

 In addition to tool safety, it’s good practice to keep the entire renovation site clean. As the renovations finish up each day, it’s important to clean the entire site and ensure there are no dangers to both humans and pets living in your home.

Pay close attention to the floor looking for nails, splinters and other debris, ensuring they’re all cleaned up and disposed of responsibly.

Keep paint cans shut and power tools out of reach. A renovation can cost you time, effort and money, but it shouldn’t cost you or your family their safety.

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