Doing it yourself? Do it safely
Longer days, lighter evenings and a sudden urge to tend to those things that have been waiting all winter to be fixed often cause us to get the DIY bug at this time of year. Some of us find DIY relaxing. Others find it frustrating. And, unfortunately, more than a few of us find it painful because DIY is one of the major causes of accidents in the home. So here are some tips that can help make sure you don’t need fixing up after fixing things in the home.
Before you start a job
However tempting it is to toss those instructions to the side, however well you think you know how to do a job, do always read any instructions first and make sure you have everything you need to complete the task properly and safely. That should include protective gloves, glasses, masks and headgear when needed. And always keep sharp tools safely covered to avoid accidentally stepping on them or injuring any other part of your body with them – it’s easy to do.
If the job could potentially be dangerous, don’t go it alone. Wait for someone to help or at least to be there in case anything goes wrong and you need assistance. And if you’re using a ladder, make sure it’s properly secured and it’s solid and stable. Don’t over-reach or stretch too far or the ladder might not be the only thing that goes crashing down.
If you’re not sure you can do the job properly yourself, call in a professional.
But make sure they really are – beware of cowboys.
Always get at least three quotes – be wary of any that are much cheaper than the rest. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. And discuss the job with your tradesperson beforehand and decide exactly what you want done, so there’s no room for confusion. Before they start work, make sure you have a detailed quote in writing, signed and dated. And don’t pay cash upfront.
Getting green fingered
If you’re giving your garden a makeover, or even just a tidy up, follow these all-important safety tips.
- Always use a circuit breaker when using power tools.
- Wear protective gloves and glasses when you use a hedge trimmer.
- Don’t use a chainsaw to cut back trees unless you’re fully competent.
- If you’re laying paving or moving heavy ornaments or large branches, wear strong shoes, preferably with protective toecaps. This is not the time for flip-flops, however spring-like the weather is.