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Home Improvement Safety

Warmer weather often brings home improvement projects and, unfortunately, renovation-related injuries.

man using hand drill
A carpenter drilling screws into a cupboard door on a home repair and renovation project.

Have you been planning some springtime improvements or maintenance for your home? And is this work you’re perhaps thinking of tackling yourself? For many of us, being at home more than usual during the pandemic has inspired a desire to fix things up: according to a ValuePenguin report, 77% of people plan to undertake home improvement projects this year!

Making improvements to your home can be a rewarding venture, but don’t forget to keep safety in mind while you’re planning your home repairs. The last thing you want is a serious back injury or a traumatic brain injury from falling off of a ladder, or a bad arm break or laceration that keeps you from being able to return to your job on Monday morning.

Serious injuries caused by falls, falling objects, cuts, eye injuries, burns, and even poisoning are just some of the many risks lurking when you take on DIY home repairs and maintenance. In 2019, there were reported upwards of 775,000 injuries related to housework and home improvement projects! And 2018 saw a whopping 89,300 deaths from preventable in-home injuries.

Last year, 300,000 of these injuries were the result of something many of us do every weekend: simply working in the yard. The tools we use to cut grass or perform other landscaping work are often more high-powered and dangerous than we might assume — think lawnmowers, chainsaws, and trimmers, and the bodily damage they could potentially cause if you are not cautious in your use and careful to protect yourself with proper safety gear. Over the last year there were more than 37,000 head injuries and 16,000 upper-body fractures caused by these types of lawn tools!

You should also take care to be careful any time you are up on the roof repairing a pesky leak, or at the top of your ladder trimming trees or cleaning leaves out of your gutters. Studies by the National Safety Council show that about 9 million non-fatal falls were reported by emergency departments in 2012. Cuts are another major contributor to home injuries, from saws, blades, and fix-up tools of all kinds. It may sound counterintuitive, but dull tools can cause serious injuries, and when used properly, sharper tools are typically safer than dull tools.

The bottom line is, always keep safety at the front of your mind while planning and executing home improvements, no matter how big or small your project. By being cautious in your home-improvement work, you could save yourself a potential trip to the ER, or even severe injuries that could have lasting impact on your life.

All of us here at Burnett & Williams wish you a happy, productive, and safe spring season of working around your home!

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