When I moved out of my parents’ home at the tender age of 23, I was woefully underprepared for living in a house on my own. Much like April and Andy on my favorite show Parks and Recreation, my tool box was a plastic bag with one screwdriver, a hammer I am pretty sure was actually a toy, and some loose jelly beans.
I quickly realized I need to step up my home care game, so I invested in what I thought were the most essential power tools for a renter. Even though I wasn’t a homeowner yet, a home improvement monster was born and now there is nothing I love more than a home repair/DIY project.
If you’re ready to invest in your own tool collection and start on some home repair, be smart about power tool safety. Here are some safety tips to make sure you operate your tools correctly and safely:
DO: Use the Right Tool for the Job
Simply put, know your tools. Knowing the difference between say a drill and an impact driver, for example, before starting your next project is the best way to ensure your project is completed safely and won’t fall apart the moment you finish! Reach out to experts at hardware stores or online for advice and power tool safety tips from pros.
DON’T: Carry a Power Tool By Its Cord
Carrying a power tool by its cord is unsafe for a couple of reasons. The first is that while the tool is swinging around by its cord, it could accidentally be turned on and injure you or others. The second is that it could damage the cord itself, causing a dangerous electrical short.
DO: Make Sure the Tool is Grounded Safely
Check to make sure the power tool cord is double-insulated (it will be labeled that way) and that it has a three-prong plug, or is powered by a low-voltage battery or transformer. A double-insulated cord is double protection from damage hazards (think pets that may have a chewing habit), and the three prong plug simply diverts power to three places instead of two, so you’re less likely to blow a fuse.
DON’T: Leave Running Tools Unattended
This tool safety tip is especially important if you have small children at home. Always make sure to leave tools powered off or unplugged entirely, and put the safety on if applicable.
DO: Wear the Correct Safety Gear
Make sure you wear the correct gloves or goggles for the job. You don’t want to risk losing an eye because you didn’t want to wear those unfashionable safety glasses.
DON’T: Work When You are Tired
Working when tired is just a huge no-no all the way around when it comes to power tool safety. It’s just like driving – close your eyes for a second and you could have a major catastrophe on your hands.
DO: Keep the Work Area Free of Clutter
Yes, we know you’ve been working day and night on your home renovation, but clean up all the fast food bags and things you aren’t using. You could trip and fall over debris while operating a power tool, or something could get caught in the tool itself while you’re working.
DON’T: Work with Tools in Wet Conditions
That’s how my dad lost three fingers, seriously. Working in rain or other wet conditions is hazardous because tools can easily slip from your grasp while they are still running.
DO: Call a Professional if Necessary
Calling a pro in to help can mean added expense, but it’s worth in the long run if you’re in over your head. Check out these tips for knowing when to call a pro for home repairs.
Do It Yourself Home Projects can be really fun, and you’ll take extra pride in knowing you Ron Swanson’ed something yourself. That IKEA bookshelf may not be quite like a handcrafted canoe from your own workshop, but hey, you did it assemble it yourself with your own tools! We hope these tool safety tips will help you to maintain proper power tool safety, maintenance and procedures when working with power tools regardless of how big or small your projects are.
Not quite sure what you need for your own toolbox? Check out our inventory of discounted Home Improvement Tools to get started today!