I talk a lot about safety in my home improvement classes and most of us are familiar with the most common safety tips such as wearing safety glasses, hearing protection or dust masks. Several times in the past I’ve talked about ladder safety and personally I consider the ladder one of the most dangerous tools we own.  But there are a few safety tips that are rarely talked about that I believe every homeowner should know.

Here are my 3 unusual safety tips:Safety with a Cell Phone

  1. Carry a cell phone with you. When working alone whether cleaning gutters on the roof, working in a crawlspace or doing your yearly attic inspection (if you haven’t done it this year, now is the time!) There are many stories of homeowners getting trapped or stuck in dangerous situations without a cell phone on hand to call someone to come to the rescue. Here’s a link to a story if you don’t believe me. http://www.aolnews.com/2010/06/10/conn-man-stuck-for-days-in-furnace-loses-arm/ 
  2. Stop if you are tired, uncomfortable or you feel awkward when performing a task.  I often say, especially in my power tool class, “If it feels awkward it is unsafe”, be sure to set up your work area so that you are comfortable performing all the tasks required for the project from reaching across a piece of material to saw, to lifting heavy objects or reaching to install a light fixture.  Here’s a link to a story of a man killed because he was sitting down while using a circular saw. http://parker.kdvr.com/news/news/109534-man-cut-killed-circular-saw-breckenridge 
  3. Turn off the electricity FIRST! If your basement or crawlspace floods from damaged to water pipes our first reaction may be to race to shut off the water. NEVER enter a basement, crawlspace or any other room that is flooded until you have shut off the electrical power at your main electrical service panel.  Risk of electrocution is real if you enter a flooded area where the water may be in contact with a live electrical source.  Here’s a lint to a story of a man who thankfully was saved from serious injury or possibly death.  http://www.whec.com/news/stories/s2242043.shtml 
I hope that you use this information, not to stop working on your home, but to take the time to consider what you are doing before you start.  Here’s to a summer filled with fun, successful and SAFE home improvement projects. 
If you live in the Denver Metro area and are interested in learning to do your own home improvement projects or have a home you are interested in buying or selling, please visit my website at www.judybrowneonline.com for information on what I do and how I can help.