DIY in style
Wear protective clothing including safety goggles, gloves, and a dust mask when working with potentially hazardous materials such as glass or spray paint. It is also a good idea to wear a mask when working in a dusty environment e.g. sanding or sawing wood or MDF.
Clear the air
When painting, or using any material that generates toxic fumes or dust, keep the room well ventilated. Never smoke while painting or standing close to a freshly painted area.
The right tools for the right job
Always use the correct tools for the job. It is worth investing in high quality equipment as this will be safer and will probably do the job quicker. (See our DIY Essentials Guide here.)
Out of sight, out of mind
Store tools in a safe place, out of the way of children and pets. Keep them in a box or secured on a rack.
Respect the knife
When using knives, always cut away from you. Use a baton as a guide and run a sharp knife along the edge of it. Always store knives securely.
When fixing or checking electrical appliances or connections, always switch off the power and remove the fuse or circuit breaker (MCB). If you're fixing an electrical appliance, switch off the appliance at the socket and pull out the plug. As an added precaution, wear rubber-soled shoes when working on electrics.
Fire safety first
Always keep a chemical fire extinguisher in the house. We suggest under the kitchen sink and in your utility closet or laundry room. Never use water to put out a fire in an electrical appliance. Keep in mind, gas and electrical work is best left to a registered professional.
When using a power drill, choose a model that has a plastic non-conducting body. Unplug the drill before fitting parts and remove the chuck key before switching it on. Avoid wearing loose clothing or jewelry, which could get caught in the drill.
Ladders are one of the main causes of DIY accidents. Erect the ladder according to the manufacturer's instructions. Never lean to one side as you could lose balance.
Take it slow
Don't rush as you're more likely to have an accident. Carefully plan the job before you start work. Know your limitations and consult a professional if you are unsure. It's also a good idea to ask someone if they can help you.