Three Killer Hazards for the Unwary Home Renovator
Many potential dangers are obvious to us as we work, such as spinning blades on power equipment, a badly balanced ladder or an overfull wheelbarrow.
But more insidious hazards can go unseen until it’s too late, sometimes resulting in fatal mistakes.
Three hazards to be aware of while working on DIY projects are electricity, asbestos and lead.
All three can be present in homes and all are dangerous if they are not handled carefully.
Here, we outline what to look out for and what precautions to take to ensure a safe working environment.
Running inside your walls, under the floor and through the ceiling space or roof cavity, electric cabling is the lifeblood of your home.
Before doing any work that involves drilling, sawing or knocking into walls, make sure you know exactly where every powerline is and, even then, switch off the power at the meter.
Despite most homes being fitted with circuit breakers, mistakes may still result in electrocution.
The electrical wiring in your home is likely to have a safety cut-off circuit, but a cable on the supply side of your meter has no protection.
Before you use any corded power tool, check the lead has no exposed wires, cuts in the cord or bent pins.
Have the cord professionally replaced if it looks unsafe.
Also, check all extension cords the same way.