A growing family and tight budget can make DIY home improvements necessary, but there are extra safety precautions that have to be considered when renovating with children in the home. Basic comfort and convenience aside, keeping dangerous tools, materials, and chemicals away from children requires extra planning and care.
Here are some tips to keep children safe during DIY home projects:
- As a general rule, any time you are considering doing home improvements (with or without children in the home), compare your estimated cost in materials/time to what a professional would charge.
- Break large scale projects into phases. Make sure that you identify specific areas of the house for your family that won’t be impacted, and don’t allow any project materials or tools in those areas. Make sure the “work-free” areas can function between phases of the project.
- Don’t try to multi-task. Even small repairs require full attention and if you’re responsible for supervising a child at the same time, you could be putting everyone at risk. Work with family or other caregivers to designate work times when small children can be supervised.
- Ask for help. Make sure you truly understand the scope of the project and how long it will take to complete. For example, one person painting a room that requires priming and two coats of paint could take two days or more. It’s possible that three people could do it in less than 24 hours.
- Any DIY project that requires breaching the security of exterior doors or windows, cutting off access to water or electricity, or moving furniture should be carefully considered. In some cases, it’s best to have children stay with a family member if security or physical safety is an issue.
- Determine a lockable space to secure tools and equipment when you take breaks or between project phases.
- Be aware of fumes and dust travelling through air vents. If you can, isolate your work space with a door or hang heavy duty plastic in the doorway. As a precaution, cover air intake vents and open windows exterior doors.
Before starting major DIY projects, it’s best to consult an expert. Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning at 800-461-3010 to ensure your safety before starting a project, especially one involving electrical or plumbing systems.