Of Contractors And Home Renovations
Found this at the SafetyXchange:
Donít Let Contractors Turn Your House Into a War Zone
March 13, 2007 Catherine Jones
Next week is the official start of spring. Thank heavens! Finally, we can open the windows and make home repairs and renovations. For many of us, that will involve hiring contractors to work at our homes. So this is a good time to remind your employees that having contractors around creates dangers, not just to the workers but to our families. Here are some pointers to help keep the work safe and protect your family against mishaps.
Keeping the Family Safe
Using contractors to repair or renovate your home can be dangerous, especially if you're planning to stay in the home while the work is conducted. Contractors work with dangerous tools and equipment. During renovations your kids might be dodging exposed wiring or nails that snag, or stepping over large building products hauled into family spaces. They might also be breathing lung-irritating particles in the air.
So when contractors come to your home, follow these steps to help keep the crew and your family safe.
Keep pets confined or on a leash;
Keep children out of work areas;
Remind contractors to secure their tools and materials daily before leaving;
Provide well-lighted and ventilated workspaces when possible, with proper electrical supply for power tools;
Don't smoke near insulation or chemical fumes;
Inform contractors which entrances to use. Make sure these entrances are away from your children's play area;
Ask contractors to keep outside doors closed, especially if you have a child who might wander;
Show contractors where your first aid kit and fire extinguishers are located, and provide them with a copy of your family's evacuation plan.
Keeping the Family Sane
Having contractors work on your home can also cause disruptions and mental stress for you and the members of your family. You can minimize the sense of psychological dislocation and stress by planning ahead. The night before workers arrive, help the children find what they'll need for the next day. If possible, have the kids fed and dressed before the renovation frenzy begins.
If renovations affect the whole house and you tire of washing dishes in the bathtub, you might consider sending the family on a vacation or moving to your sister's house. If you do decide to leave the home during renovations, be sure to thoroughly inspect items that will be replaced while you're away. You don't want to find out later that necessary medicines were stored in the now discarded bathroom cabinets or that your daughter's homework was posted on the old refrigerator.
Our homes are our most important economic asset. They also represent the center of our mental universe. But occasionally we need to hire contractors to make improvements and keep things in proper repair. This is all part of the dream of owning a home; just make sure that you take adequate physical and mental preparations so the experience of home renovation doesn't become a nightmare.