Tackling those last-minute projects? Stay safe

Doing it right means taking the extra steps necessary to stay safe. (StatePoint)

Finally fixing that loose step? Planning to use power tools? In the rush to take advantage of warm fall weather, don’t forget to take the extra time to safeguard yourself and your tools.

A stop at your neighborhood hardware store for the safety glasses you can’t find quickly or the gloves or mask that will protect you from chemicals may save you injury and cost in the long run.

Last year, one-third of DIYers reported injuries while working on a home improvement project, yet 77 percent admit they’ve skipped wearing the proper protective gear.

“Whatever your experience level, you need to use caution when making repairs or doing general home maintenance,” says Lou Manfredini, host of HouseSmarts TV.

Here are some tips from Manfredini on popular spruce-up tasks in and outside the house — and the safety precautions that go with them:

• Updating the front door: Want to add some pizzazz to your home? Consider repainting the front door.  With a little sanding, priming and a new coat of paint in a bold color, you can change the entire look of your home.

Just make sure you wear a proper respirator while sanding, and use appropriate protective eyewear.

• Mowing the lawn: Before mowing, take time to inspect for items lying on the ground. Sticks and stones can break your bones — particularly if the blade of the mower picks it up and throws it at high speed from under the mower’s deck.

When doing yard work outside, help protect your eyes with safety eyewear.

• Easy bathroom fix: Replacing a broken ceramic tile is easy if you follow these steps. Remove all the grout around the tile. Then use a chisel to remove the tile. Consider wearing proper safety eyewear. Clean up the surface and then install the new tile with tile adhesive. When that dries, re-grout the new tile.

When tackling this project, make sure you wear a good pair of gloves, as broken tile pieces can be sharp.

• Fixing up furniture: Refinishing furniture is a great way to revive old items.  But remember, some finishing products may be harmful to lungs and skin.

Always read the safety information for the products used. Wear a good pair of quality painter’s gloves, protective eyewear, and an appropriate respirator.

• Using power tools: Anytime you use power tools like a circular saw, sander or a compressor, you should protect your ears. Disposable foam ear plugs, such as those from 3M TEKK, are easy to use and can help reduce the noise level, which is important, as noises over 85 decibels can lead to permanent hearing loss over time.

Also consider safety protective eyewear when using circular saws, sanders and other power tools.

• Adding Insulation: Adding insulation to your home is one of the best ways to increase its energy efficiency. Whether its fiberglass batt insulation or blown-in cellulose, the added comfort will be apparent.

For safety, wear pants, a long sleeve shirt and eye, hand, and lung protection, such as a valved respirator.

When it comes to your health and safety, don’t take chances. Doing it right means doing it safely.

— StatePoint

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