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Five safety tips for DIY home maintenance

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By Al Heavens
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Published:
Every month is home safety month at my house, says the guy who cannot complete a job without at least one scratch, bruise or bump.
June is National Home Safety Month and just because it's almost over, don't slack off.
Here are five good tips from the Home Builders Institute to keep yourself out of the ER:
Use a ladder properly: Check for defects and loose or bent rungs before each use. Never carry equipment, materials or supplies up or down a ladder.
Prevent eye injury: Safety glasses, goggles or full-face shields should be used when there is a possibility of splashing chemicals or flying dust, resulting from sawing, grinding or windy conditions.
Wear a hard hat and gloves, when appropriate. Hard hats or helmets should be worn when there's a possibility something might fall on your head or you might hit your head. Gloves should be worn when working with chemicals or doing yard work, but should never be used with tools that have a spinning or twisting blade or bit because a glove could get caught.
Store power tools properly: All tools should have the battery removed or unplugged, and any bits should also be removed before storage. On portable electric saws, the blades should be fully retracted and all guards in place.
Clean up your dusty work area thoroughly. Wear an N-95 dust mask (it filters 95 percent of airborne particles), available at any home-improvement store, when using a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Arresting) vacuum and wet mop to clean up dust and debris. Remember that dust particles in sufficient quantity and size can be combustible.

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