With a fully charged battery or long extension cord, you can literally work on a project anywhere in the home. This is when you can become dangerous to yourself as well as things in your home.
Before you use any power tool know how to use it, the safety requirements and frequent mistakes made when using the tool. There are great tutorials online from tool manufacturers, which can literally keep you safe and save you money.
Safety is always first.
Read the instructions and understand that the power tool in your hand could maim or kill you. A high-speed circular saw that kicks back because of improper use can cut major arteries leading to sudden death.
Power tools can quickly lop off fingers, cut tendons and damage unprotected eyes. Most power tool accidents are caused by a failure to read the user manual/instructions, not wearing proper protective eye wear and using incorrect blades, bits and fasteners.
If you are afraid of power tools, don’t forget in all tools there are old school manual tools, which by nature are safer. New do-it-yourself novices may consider using manual saws and drills to fully understand the impact of how these tools work. Never convince yourself to utilize any tool wherein you are not fully trained and comfortable with its use.
Before you cut or drill know what items are below and around the work you are doing. The dumbest thing you can do is cut or drill any item while holding onto it with your hands or knees.
Daily, inattentive do-it-yourself homeowners and even contractors are sent to the emergency room because they used their body as a work bench.
The other big mistake many people make is they will drill or cut on top of something that is valuable, like a kitchen table or countertop. The number of kitchen tables lost because someone cut a board on top of it is unimaginable. Plus, many slabs of countertop have been ruined by amateurs inadvertently drilling through the main item.
Don’t be lazy — utilize a workspace or table that can be damaged.
Before you cut or drill know what is on the other side. A new do-it-yourself homeowner with a drill can instantly damage water lines or electrical lines in the wall, causing thousands of dollars in damage. It is not uncommon for the $5 picture from the thrift store to cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in damages if a main water line is penetrated. When drilling or cutting into an unknown area in the wall, go slow and adjust the clutches down to prevent damage.
Before you dig or use a power auger in your yard know that just below the surface of your yard are water lines, cable lines, electrical lines and internet cables. Most of these lines are not in any protective conduit. For example, the fiber optic cable to your home is not bigger than a small root and a small person stepping on a shovel would hardly realize they just severed your internet access.
Not only does this type of accident happen daily, it can cost hundreds of dollars to repair, not to mention the time and delay. By law, you should call 8-1-1 before you dig to have underground utilities marked in your yard. Failing to do so can make you responsible for the damage.
Yes, this means everyone, including wives planting new bushes in the yard.
As a homeowner, you need to know before you use any power equipment what is above, underneath and around the area. If you are focusing on the power and operation of the tool instead of the job, then something will go wrong.
Know before you use, cut, drill or dig.
Don Magruder is the CEO of Ro-Mac Lumber & Supply Inc. He is also the host of the Around the House televised show, weekdays on LSTV.