When you're carrying out some DIY, there are a few pointers you'll want to follow to ensure you're doing the tasks in the safest way possible
That's where these tips from Jason Orme, property expert for the Homebuilding & Renovating Show, come in...
1. Slow and steady wins the race
The main cause of accidents or poor work isn’t a lack of skill. Instead, it's from trying to rush through too much in too short a period. This leads to cutting corners which endangers your safety and the quality of the job.
Instead, you’re better off taking a methodical approach, anticipating what you need and the time you need to set aside to do so - this helps to minimise any chances of being caught off-guard.
It typically comes down to time. if you find yourself feeling tired after a long week and are rush through as many tasks as possible in a three-hour window, you understandably won't be thinking about every single action you're taking. Similarly, if you're feeling tired, DIY quickly become a strenuous activity, and you increase the chances of an accident.
2. Equip yourself
Mistakes occur when you don't have tools to hand and lack the appropriate protective gear. A good starting point will be proper work trousers - these retail for between £30-50 in DIY stores, and can protect you from common scratches, while also providing comfort. Eye protection will be another crucial aspect to consider, while ear plugs could also be needed, depending on the job.
Pay attention to the quality of the air too - when you're dealing with adhesives, sealants and similar, you'll want to wear well-fitting gloves and a face mask, otherwise you risk irritating your skin or developing breathing problems. Professional builders will wear protection as a matter of course, so why would the inexperienced amongst us not do so too?
Other things to consider looking into include buying low VOC (volatile organic compound) paints, which can be found in specialist shops. You can also purchase dust-free net sanding discs, which can be combined with the right tool and extractor to pretty much eliminate dust – nice, eh?
3. Ask for help
You could benefit from having a helping hand around the house, whether it’s to help you with tasks, or to provide an objective opinion. However, take care with who you ask - you don't want someone who will end up distracting you.
If you find yourself alone on a ladder, take your time and make sure it’s positioned at the appropriate angle. As you climb, avoid overstretching yourself, as this is essentially an accident waiting to happen. If you're going to be regularly using it, try investing in a ladder that's flexible, so you can adapt it to your needs without leaving yourself in danger.
4. Spatial awareness
It doesn't just come down to having the right tools - you also need the right space, with everything suitably organised and within easy reach. This will particularly apply when in a tight area like the bathroom, as people can otherwise leave things in there and struggle to manoeuvre - it's at times like this that things start to go wrong. A good place to start will be by emptying the room of everything that you don't need, whether it's a storage solution or something as simple as untangling cords.