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How to Avoid the Most Common DIY Home Injuries

Thinking of tackling a home improvement project on your own? Be sure to take the appropriate precautions to make sure you don't suffer one of these common DIY-related injuries:

 Pop Art illustration by fotolia.com/studiostoks; Bubble backgroud photo by fotlia.com/Olexandr
For many people, part of the joy of owning a log home is the satisfaction of tackling the improvement projects that pop up themselves. Others don’t want to touch home maintenance with a 10-foot pole, opting to hire handymen instead. If you fall in the former category, it’s just as important to ensure your own well being as it is to keep your home safe and sound. Here are a few of the most common injuries suffered by DIYers and how to avoid them:

Falling off a ladder.

For starters, make sure you use a ladder that’s the proper height for the job. Far too often, people try to make do by stretching on a 6-foot ladder when they need a taller one. Next, make sure the ladder is on solid ground and have a friend or family member hold it, if possible. Keep the steps free from tools, cords, cloths or other hazards. And finally, consider fall restraints and harnesses when you’re working at heights above 6 feet.

Injuries from power tools.

The most important step is often the most neglected — read the manual and make sure you know how to operate the tool. After that, eliminate distractions when using the tool and keep fingers, arms and legs away from the operating end. And remember to use only one tool at a time. Stay focused!

Burns or respiratory problems caused by household chemicals.

When using any chemical product, always protect your skin, eyes and lungs by wearing protective clothing, including gloves, goggles that have shields on the sides as well as the front and a respiratory mask. Use these products in well-ventilated areas and only in the manner specified by the manufacturer.

Electrical shocks.

When working with electricity, the most obvious first step is to turn off the circuit breaker. But shocks also can come from tools with frayed cords; when insulators are compromised, causing other metal components to become “hot”; or when a tool is plugged into an already overloaded outlet. Be sure to eliminate these kinds of hazards. And never work with electricity near water — it increases the current’s intensity.

DIY Ideas from Log Home Living:

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