Submitted by Jim Klossner
Many people are choosing to DIY when repairs need to be done in their home. With the increase in home handymen, or handywomen, comes more risk because non-professional plumbers naturally will not think about some of the safety precautions. It is critical to take safety steps to ensure that you get the job done unscathed, as well as to make sure that the job is done correctly.
Be Mindful of Electricity
Since plumbing usually does not involve electricity, many people do not think to turn off the electricity. Keep in mind that water and electricity do not mix. This is especially important if you are doing something near a power source.
Do Not Panic
If something goes wrong, like a pipe bursting, do not panic. You need to take the steps to correct the issue as quickly as possible and panic will prevent this. Take a little time before even starting the task to think about some things that could go wrong and then make a few rough strategies to fix these.
Make Sure Your Eyes are Protected
When you are cutting into things and have the risk of water spraying everywhere, it is important that your eyes are protected. There is always the risk of things flying at your face and when you are wearing protective goggles you can pretty much eliminate the risk of eye damage.
Protect Your Ears
Plumbing work can get loud and the ears can become damaged with too much loud noise. Things like power saws and other equipment can become loud and ear damage can occur without you even noticing it. Wearing earplugs will help protect your hearing.
Protect Your Lungs
When doing plumbing work, you are sure to run into some type of dust and/or chemical fumes. If chemicals are being used, a respirator is something you may want to consider. If you will only run into dust, then a basic face mask is enough to prevent breathing in the dust.
Make Sure You Have the Right Tools
Using the wrong tools can result in injury. For example, if you need a chisel, use a chisel and not a screwdriver. The screwdriver could slip when you are hammering, resulting in slamming the hammer on your hand. The wrong tools could also damage the thing you are working on, causing more issues and costing you more money.
Have Emergency Numbers and a Way to Call Them Handy
Accidents happen and you need to be prepared to get help if necessary. Numbers like poison control should be handy, as well as utility company numbers. Keep a phone nearby just in case something happens and you need to call quickly.
Practice Before Doing
Before you start the actual job, get used to the tools you will need to use so that you are confident in using them. You do not want to just learn that new saw when it is time to get work done as this adds more pressure which can lead to mistakes.
Protect Your Hands
Chemicals, tools and hot water are all potential hazards to your hands. Be sure to wear gloves that are appropriate to what you might run into. For example, gloves that protect against chemicals generally differ than gloves that can protect hands from hot water. If it also a good idea to wear long pants, long sleeves and shoes to protect all of your skin.
Know Your Plumbing
It is important to know things like the type of pipes used in your home, where the on/off valves are and where the pipes are behind the walls so that you can quickly access what you need. You also want to be able to quickly get to things if something were to go wrong.
About the Author: Jim Klossner has been writing about plumbing and HVAC solutions for companies like John J Cahill, Inc. for nearly ten years. When he’s not writing, you can find Jim teaching safety courses at his local community center.