Home Renovation Safety

Plans - Permits - Protection - Project

The Four P's in home renovation safety could help to save your life, protect your investment and help make your home a dream home reality...

Please read through our basic safety equipment checklist and tips before starting a project.

AND always carefully read the manufacturers instructions before you use any tools, chemicals or electrical equipment, if in any doubt - seek professional help.

When you start to imagine and plan a project, the first stages are usually Plans and Permits

  • Planning - is the time spent on measuring and feasibility studies of the proposed project to suit your home and lifestyle (often with an architect or engineer)

  • Permits - submit your building application - check up on codes at your local building office to see if your plans will pass inspection - this is vital in making sure that your project adds value to your home as well as improving the quality of your home life.

    ***Also ask them about any home improvement safety advice or leaflets they may have.

    You know poor home renovation safety when you see it right! - and you can't always blame Jack!

  • Protection - The third and most vital "P" is Protection, that includes your own personal protection and that of those around you.

    When you are just starting out on an exciting new project, unfortunately often the last thing on your mind is home renovation safety.

    But - while you are waiting to hear the decision from the local building office - use this time to make sure that you know what home renovation safety equipment you will need and read any home improvement safety information available. Make yourself a home renovation safety shoping list.

Read Manufacturers Instructions

If you are going to use hand or power tools - read all of the labeling, instructions and warnings thoroughly - now instead of skimming over them later when you are busy with contractors, material orders, deliveries etc.

Home Safety Tip - Know what you are doing before you start a phase of your project and know your equipment before you use it.

Home Safety Tip - If there is quite a distance between power supply and what you are working on - only use recommended heavy duty extension cords

Study Products Before you Buy

If you are deciding on which products to use - read the instructions and warnings before you buy to see what home improvement safety equipment and safety measures they recommend when using each and every product.

Check any chemical ingredients and find out how they can affect your family and your home and see if there are any safer, easier to handle alternatives.

  • Project - the fourth "P" is for your project, so you get the green light and the first thing that you do is...

    Go out and actually buy all the home renovation safety equipment that you have on your pre-prepared home renovation safety equipment shopping list!.

Basic Equipment

Again, always follow the manufacturers instructions and safety guidelines, this list is only to remind you of some of the basic home renovation safety equipment you should have at your home before you start your home improvement project:

  • Safety Glasses - whatever work you are doing - your home renovation safety starts with protecting your eyes. There are so many styles to choose from but the most important point is that they protect and are comfortable. If your safety glasses are comfortable you won't be continously reaching to take them off.

    Some of the modern safety glasses come tinted for outdoor use. Prescription safety glasses are an important investment.

    Modern styles can look chic but do they give you adequate protection. I prefer full eye protection for my safety glasses rather than trying to look cool in them, they have an important job to do!.

  • Workgloves - there are different workglove materials for different jobs, for example latex, canvas and rubber gloves for working with chemicals and solvents. other workglove types for working with metals and woods which range from lightweight to heavy duty.

  • Head Protection - Hard Hats are essential once your home converts into a construction site. They are also useful when assessing your attic or basement for conversion - before the work even starts. Always protect your head.

    Basic hard hats are bright so that other people working on site can easily see you. There are also fancy designs - hard hats painted with logos and flags.

    Some jobs require a hard hat with full face mask.

  • Respirators - breathing in dust and particles is a real hazard and wearing the right type of face mask or respirator is an important part of home renovation safety.

    As soon as you start to use the hammer and chisel or plug in electrical equipment - the first thing to rise is the dust.

    Basic disposable nose and mouth dust and mist masks vital to wear but remember that they are only going to protect you against solid particles and those that are non-oil based.

    Sometimes a full respirator mask is a necessary home improvement safety equipment item, especially for hot and humid environments and when using chemicals.

    Home Safety Tip - Try not to cut corners with your safety - if you are going to buy disposable masks - buy enough to get you through so that you are never without one when the dust starts to fly - AND - go for masks with a metal nosepiece so that they can adjusted to fit well on any face.

  • Hearing Protection - if you subject your hearing to continued "unprotected" high decibel noise levels - there's a good chance that you are going to incur permanent damage and hearing loss.

    Wear good quality hearing protection.

  • Protective Clothing - Why take risks of burns and rashes when you could be wearing the right sort of protective clothing that is especially design to protect you from chemicals and/or not get caught up in machinery.

  • Ergonomic Products - ergonomics relates to the efficiency of people in their work place, and from studies - some great products have evolved to protect and give your back and joints support while you are working.

Personal protective equipment is a vital part of home renovation safety. Good project planning also plays the important role in knowing what you are doing before you start and giving yourlself enough time so that you are not rushing to finish.

More accidents happen when people are under the pressure of time, it's easier when you are in a hurry to forget vital steps, turning off valves, stabalising equipment, wearing your home renovation equipment.

But, unfortunately accidents do sometimes happen and that is why the following is so important:

  • First Aid Supplies - not only should you have a properly and fully stocked first aid supply box - but it should always be easily accessible. Imagine if something happened and no-one on site could find the first aid supplies because they were buried under a pile of materials that had just arrived!.

    Keep your first aid supplies well stocked and accessible at all times and tell everyone on site where it is located.

  • An Extra Pair of Hands - An important aspect of successful home improvement projects is having the help when you need it. An extra pair of hands is important when lifting heavy objects, helping you secure a ladder, reach difficult to get to areas, supporting materials while you bolt them together - you get the idea.

    It's important not to over extend yourself or go beyond the capabilities of what one person can do.

  • Work Boots - sometimes what really helps you get through a long day on site - safely - is wearing the right kind of work boots, and not just trainers etc.

Toxic materials

While you are waiting for your permit to come through - source the best materials for your proposed project - the least toxic and least harmful for you and your home - this may lead you to save some money as you study all the options available.

If in doubt about products try this government site which is especially for wood safety and Home Improvement Safety when using chemicals and pesticides.

Getting Help - Asbestos & Lead

There are a number of jobs you should NOT do on your own, make sure that you get the help and advice you need regarding any removal of asbestos or lead based paints.

If you home was painted before 1978 (even if someone has painted over the old paint since) - get your home tested - please don't try to remove old lead based paint yourself.

What you will need is a certified lead evaluation and abatement contractor.

The Lead Hazard Abatement Program can help confirm the status of a certified contractor near you, give them a call on (609) 633 6224

You might find it easier to go to this government web site for more advice and Home Renovation Safety Leadbase Information

Remember - your safety and that of those around you should always be more important than your project.

Careful home renovation safety leads to a successful home improvement project.


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