Self-building is gaining in popularity, with more people wanting to create their own home rather than find one that suits their needs best. Likewise, more people have taken to home-improvement, owing mainly to being bored during lockdown and getting tired of looking at the same four walls each day. Whether you are building your home from scratch, or making some modifications or improvements, you need to be safe. Construction work can be very dangerous, even minor construction such a drilling a hole in a wall to hang shelves, comes with hazards attached. For this reason, we have out together some handy tips to help you stay safe while building or improving your home.
1. Wear safety clothing
When it is your own home and especially if you’re only making some minor home improvements, you might not think safety clothing is necessary. But it is. Safety clothing helps to protect you and your body from accidents occurring, it also makes you more visible which helps other people to both avoid you and be cautious when going near you. For example, wearing safety gloves could be the difference between you needing to buy needing new safety gloves, and you needing to go to the hospital to have a finger reattached. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, if it is some form of DIY then you need the appropriate safety wear.
2. Know the laws for builders
If you’re going to be doing anything that could be considered as building, such as replacing a roof or adding a brick shed, you need to familiarise yourself with the building laws. If you don’t and someone gets injured because of it, you could be held liable. It is also important to know your limitations, for your safety as well as everyone else’s.
3. Take Your Time
Accidents are more likely to happen if you rush, this is a known fact. Yes, when it comes to home improvements you just want to get it done so you can enjoy your hard work (and not live on a construction site)… but rushing won’t help that. Often what happens when people rush is that they either have an accident, and/or they make a mistake which takes longer (and sometimes costs more) to fix. By ‘take your time’ we also mean, make smart choices. If you can’t reach something, take the time to go and fetch a ladder instead of standing on the first thing you can find.
4. Keep a Tidy Work Space
The messier you allow your workspace to be the more likely it is you are going to have an accident. With a clear workspace, you have the freedom to move around without worrying, but if the area is messy, then you risk slipping or tripping on something, like a tool or a power lead. We understand you need tools out to use, but tidy as you go and once you’ve finished using something, put it away.
5. Keep children and pets away
Children and pets (and anything else that erratically runs wild in your home) need to be kept well clear of your workspace. After all, you wouldn’t want either to get injured. Although we love our kids and our animals, they are a massive distraction and when you’re doing something like DIY, you need to focus to avoid having any accidents. Not only that, if you are using things like adhesives and solvents, it isn’t good for either children or animals to breathing it in, it could be damaging to their lungs. If possible, try to take care of all your building and DIY work when the children are at school and all pets are locked safely in another room.
There are lots of other tips we could give you, but perhaps the best advice we can give is to know your limits. If you try to tackle a two-man job alone, or you attempt something you know is outside of your skillset, then it is much more likely to go wrong. In turn, it is more likely you will be injured or in an accident. There is no shame in admitting you can’t do something and outsourcing it to a professional. If you won’t do this for your own safety, then consider this, if you do it wrong, it might take longer and cost more to fix… and you might need to call on that professional for help after all. Plus, if you ask a professional to do the job for you, then you have peace of mind of knowing it is being done to a high standard and will look better.