Home Improvement Accidents Send More Than 200,000 People to the Hospital Each Year; Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Encourages Consumers to Take Safety Into Consideration
NORTHBROOK, Ill., April 9, 2010 – When the paint starts to chip and the weeds peek through the grass, homeowners everywhere strap on their tool belts, determined to fix up their homes themselves. In fact, more than 40 percent of Americans are planning on tackling do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvement projects this year. But homeowners, specifically parents, beware: home improvement accidents send thousands of people to the emergency room each year. Whether you’re a first-time DIY’er wall-papering your child’s room for the first time, or a veteran DIY guru remodeling your basement for the third time, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is urging homeowners to make safety part of their home improvement plan.
According to UL, DIY’ers should keep safety in their tool belts before, during and after home improvement projects. The 115 year-old product safety testing organization says projects that require practices, such as climbing ladders or using power tools, can often lead to injuries if proper safety precautions are not taken.
"With kids running around, a leaky bathroom faucet, a lawn that needs to be mowed and a house that needs to be repainted, it’s easy for parents to overlook the potential safety hazards associated with fixing up the home," says UL’s consumer safety director John Drengenberg. "Regardless of your level of experience with home improvement projects, we recommend parents slow down, take safety precautions, and follow UL’s safety tips throughout the process."
Safety Tips for the Amateur DIY’er
Popular home improvement television shows have empowered viewers to tackle projects themselves instead of hiring professionals. For the amateur DIY’er, who has rarely climbed a ladder or used a power tool, UL recommends:
Use the 4-to-1 rule for proper ladder placement. For every four feet of ladder height, the bottom of the ladder should be one foot away from the wall or object it is leaning against.
Safety Tips for the Veteran DIY’er
The homeowner who tackles DIY home improvement projects ever year most likely follows their intuition – instead of instructions – and may be more prone to accidents than the amateur DIY’er. For the veteran DIY’er, UL recommends:
For more information on DIY home improvement safety tips, go to www.ul.com/consumers.