Don’t Let DIY Disasters Happen To You
As the popularity of do-it-yourself repair grows among homeowners, so has a disturbing rise in serious DIY injuries. From decorating and renovating to remodels and repairs, homeowners have been taking on the roll of Bob Vila and opting to tackle home projects themselves rather than hiring a professional. While this can save time and money, homeowners don’t realize the real and present dangers of do-it-yourself home repairs.
In the US, home repair injuries are growing at an alarming rate. The most common repair injury is a ladder fall, which has risen 40% in the past decade becoming the leading cause of DIY death.
Power tools are also responsible for a large number of injuries with nail-gun related injuries up 200% since 1991 and angle grinders and power saws both causing between 15-20% of all injuries.
According to the Department of Trade and Industry in the UK, 200,000 people a year are injured in DIY accidents – that works out to almost 4000 per week.
Half of those are injured seriously enough to need hospital treatment and an unlucky 70 are fatally injured. Another 50,000 people managed to treat themselves at home without a visit to the doctor.
Surprisingly, power tools and heavy machinery aren’t the only things to worry about. Turns out even seemingly harmless items can be accidents waiting to happen such as glue and wallpaper, which collectively injured 4500 people.Other injuries include broken or fractured bones, eye damage, loss of fingers, burns, electrocution, sprains, and the list goes on.
If that doesn’t make you think twice, how about the fact that per year, do-it-yourselfers cause millions of dollars in damage to their homes from botched repair jobs. Homeowners can even risk invalidating their home insurance coverage if repairs or remodels aren’t done properly or may not be covered at all for the damage if they don’t add accidental insurance to their plan.
The most surprising part of about the rising number of DIY related injuries is that most are 100% preventable. 55 % of homeowners admitted to starting a DIY project without the proper tools and almost 50% said they started a project without knowing how exactly to do it.
If homeowners wore the right protective gear, made sure their equipment and tools were functioning properly and safely, took the time to educate themselves and were realistic about their own abilities, many of these injuries would never happened.
So, next time you’re weighing the pros and cons of doing a DIY home project, ask yourself a few questions and be honest about the answers. Is this something that is within your ability to do? Do you have the proper tools to perform the project? Do you have all the safety gear required and do you have the time to make sure the project is completed properly? If you have any doubts, ask for help. In the end, consulting a professional could actually save you time, money, and a few limbs.