DIY in style

Stay safe while you’re DIYing with personal safety gear like protective eyewear, gloves, and a dust mask. A mask helps keep out odors from spray paint or varnish and can also be nice when doing a lot of cutting or sanding, as it keeps the sawdust out.

Clear the air

If you’re painting or using any material that generates fumes or dust, be sure to work in a well-ventilated space. A fan set to blow air out of your space will improve air exchange significantly.

The right tools for the right job

Always use the correct tools for the job. It’s worth investing in quality tools and gear—they will be safer, last longer, and maybe even get the job done quicker, too. 

Out of sight, out of mind

A place for everything, and everything in its place: Store your tools in a safe place away from children and pets. Toolboxes, bins, or an upper shelf or rack provide tidy places for your tools when they’re not in use.

Respect the knife

Nothing will ruin your DIY project like a trip to urgent care. When using knives, always cut away from you. Running a knife along a straight piece of wood or cardboard batten will help you cut straight. As mentioned above, wearing gloves improves safety, too.

Power down

When fixing or checking electrical appliances, tools, or connections, always switch off the power at the source: remove batteries, unplug, and/or switch off at the circuit breaker box. 

Fire safety first

Having a fire extinguisher in the house is always a good idea. Class A-B-C extinguishers are designed for all types of fire including the paper and wood often used in DIY projects, whereas Class B-C extinguishers are only good for liquid and electrical fires.

Drill etiquette

When using a power drill, be sure to keep loose clothing and jewelry away from the tool so they don’t get caught. Safety eyewear is always a good idea with any power tool, and removing the battery before changing bits is a best practice for safety.

Stand tall

Ladders are one of the main causes of DIY accidents. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe practices. Never lean to one side to gain reach—you could lose your balance and fall. Take the time to reposition the ladder rather than extend your reach by leaning.

Take it slow

You’re more likely to have an accident if you rush, so take it slow. Plan ahead and lay out your tools and materials in your workspace before you start. Know your limitations and consult a professional if you need help. Asking a friend to help, especially for large jobs, is a great idea—and your project will benefit from added knowledge.

We hope these basic measures make your next DIY project safer. For more tips on how to keep yourself safe while using tools, check out how to use a hand saw, how to use a circular saw, and proper power drill etiquette.