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  • Tim Kraemer

Summertime Safety @ Home: Household Projects

Summertime in Wisconsin is a cherished season.  We endure crazy cold and snowy winters that draw out for far too long.  But at the end of every winter comes a much too quick summer season.  Summer is a time for projects, vacations, adventures and relaxation.  We want you to have the best summer yet.  So may we offer a few tips and thoughts to help keep you and your family safe this summer season.

This week our safety tips are all about household projects.  Whether you are working at home, a family members home or at the lake house, keep these items in mind.

First on the list, power tools.  Many projects can be enhanced with the use of power tools.  However, they can also add a level of danger to the project.  Most tools nowadays have safety features which are helpful, but there is still room for user error.  The most common mishaps today include being distracted.  In our day of busyness, we are often multitasking.  Think twice before watching that YouTube video while you cut wood or use that staple gun.  Having children nearby while using power tools can be a distraction as well as a hazard.  Kids don’t always look where they are going, which is a bad combination in the vicinity of power tools.  Another common mishap is the use of power tools while tired.  If you come home from the office and you’re worn down after a long day, think twice before picking up those tools.  Get a good night’s sleep and start when you are refreshed.

Second, let’s talk chemicals.  As you know from last week’s blog, many household cleaners/products contain toxic chemicals. Make sure you take the proper safety precautions when using such items.  Read the labels carefully when choosing products.  If gloves and safety glasses are suggested, don’t brush it off.  Take the warning seriously.  Most chemical mishaps happen with improper use such as improper ventilation.  Make sure the chemical isn’t too strong for you, your family, or your pets.  If it is something you can hire out, consider doing so and letting the professionals get it done right.  Once you’ve used the product, make sure you properly store it away from children and pets.

Third, let’s climb a ladder.  There are approximately 90,000 emergency room visits each year due to ladder related accidents.  So, let’s not add to that statistic.  There are four major mishaps: wrong type of ladder, old/broken ladder, ladder misuse, poor ladder placement.  Make sure you have the right ladder for the job-proper height and features.  Check over the ladder, especially if you are borrowing it from someone.  Make sure the ladder is solid, with no missing part/pieces.  When placing the ladder make sure it is on a level surface that won’t slip.  Before climbing the ladder, double check that the ladder is locked into place.  When on the ladder, only climb on the rungs that are meant for climbing.  And lastly, don’t leave the ladder out when not in use.  It’s way too tempting for children to climb on.

Let’s wrap up this week with digging.  Before digging, know what’s underground.  Take advantage of Diggers Hotline: WISCONSIN'S ONE-CALL CENTER 811 OR (800) 242-8511.  Call before you dig.

Some of these tips may seem simple and silly, but it’s a good reminder to slow down and think practically.  Happy home project season.  May your summer projects be fun and safe.

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