The Rules of Do-It-Yourself Safety

  • Read the directions. Before using any electrical equipment or chemical, consult the owner's manual or instruction labels.

  • Dress for the job. Wear gloves, shoes, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and, most important, safety glasses or goggles, and hearing protection, when appropriate.

  • Handle tools properly. Have great respect for saws and drills. And don't use the wrong tool for a specific job -- a chisel as a can opener, for instance.

  • Keep children and pets safe. When you're using power tools, including lawn equipment, or chemicals, ban children and pets from the area.

  • Don't leave power tools unattended and plugged in.

  • Use your head. Overconfidence is as likely to cause an accident as inexperience. There's no shame in seeking help.