These days, many of us are spending more time at home and finding new, creative ways to enhance our living space. Tackling do-it-yourself (DIY) projects for the home can be fun and cost-effective. Whether you’re painting the front door or finally upgrading those patio lights, completing a DIY home project is satisfying. But many projects do not come without risks. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind as you get to work.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is crucial for Little River Electric linemen, just as it should be for any DIY-er.
“None of our construction and maintenance projects begin without proper planning,” says Josh Strickland, safety, loss control, risk management director. “Our foremen make sure the crews have all the materials, equipment, and gear they need, the site is ready and safety precautions are followed. For the sake of their safety and their project’s success, we encourage our members to take on their home projects in the same way.”
Stock up on safety goggles, dust masks, earplugs (or noise reduction ear protectors), gloves, and any other kind of protection you may need for your project. Additionally, remember to wear appropriate clothing and shoes.
If your project requires digging, call 811 or visit sc811.org to have Little River Electric and other local utilities mark where any underground lines exist.
Be cautious with power tools. The Electrical Safety Foundation International offers the following safety tips:
- Use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) with every power tool to protect against electrical shock.
- Never use power tools near live electrical wires or water pipes.
- Use extreme caution when cutting or drilling into walls where electrical wires or water pipes could be accidentally touched or penetrated.
- If a power tool trips a safety device while in use, take the tool to a manufacturer-authorized repair center for service.
- Do not use power tools without the proper guards.
- When using a wet-dry vacuum cleaner or a pressure washer, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid electrical shock.
You should only tackle DIY home projects within your skill and comfort level. For projects that require extensive electrical work, we strongly recommend you hire a licensed, qualified electrician for assistance.
To learn more about electrical safety, check out our list of Home Safety Rules.