We’ve been called in to rectify many DIY disasters in our time as professional painters and decorators, so this week we thought it would be a good idea to share with you some of our do’s and don’ts that will keep you safe in your home while you decorate. Some of these might seem obvious, but it always pays to cover all the bases when your safety is at stake.
One of the primary causes of DIY accidents is poor ladder safety. A ladder is something that most of us own, but will rarely have been taught how to use properly. These simple tips will ensure that you never come a cropper:
- Try to maintain three points of contact (two feet and one hand)
- Always wear shoes with decent grip
- Never over-reach
- Reset the position of a ladder after 30mins to ensure it’s still secure
- Try to maintain the optimum angle of 4:1 – the distance the bottom of the ladder is from the wall should be 1/4 of the height the ladder is against the wall
- Always inspect your ladder for signs of damage or excessive wear before use
Hot on the heels of ladder accidents are disasters with a drill. These top tips should keep you safe:
- Before drilling always check for wires and pipes with a pipe and live wire detector
- Wear safety goggles!
- Use the right drill for the job – a hammer drill is essential for heavy work
- Consider cordless, because you can’t trip over a cord that isn’t there
- Use the correct size bit for the screw to prevent shearing and potentially dangerous slipping
Whilst we’re all for people attempting their own DIY, we do strongly advise that you employ a qualified electrician for any electrical jobs. However, when it comes to decorating, as long as you’re safe around the electrics in your house you should be fine. Always remember to:
- Use a plugin RCD with any electrical equipment such as drills, steamers or sanders so that in the unfortunate event of an accident, the power is instantly killed
- Always cover plug sockets or use inserts when painting or stripping wallpaper with a steamer or wet rag
Paints, varnishes and adhesives all have safety advice on the label for a reason, so please don’t ignore it.
Always apply these in a well-ventilated room and wear the appropriate mask for the job. This is especially important with high VOC products such as varnish and gloss paint, or if you’re in a small room. You might want to consider one of the excellent VOC-free or organic products on the market now – especially if you have health problems.
So if you want to minimise the risk of suffering any DIY disasters during your decorating and refurbishment adventures, follow this great advice, but if you’re in any doubt give the professionals a call – that’s us!