Do-it-yourselfers take note, your home shop is hazardous

Being an aspiring Do-it yourselfer, I have started accumulating many tools – from a table saw to compound miter saw to multiple drills and router bits.  There is something uniquely Canadian about visiting Home Depot or Canadian Tire on the weekend and ogling that new Dremel or Powerwasher.  If you’re not careful, you could end up in DIY hell – and quick.

Note:  Before going into the meat of this post, keep in mind that home insurance policies will vary between companies and provinces – consult your policy for specific wordings.

Here are a few things to think about regarding your tools and your home insurance policy:

a)  Proper electrical outlets – Your power tools draw a lot of power (the name gives it away), so make sure you use proper 3-prong plugs where available and don’t overburden any one individual plug. For more safety tips on electrical topics click here.

b)  Shop Cleanliness – I spend a lot of time touring client manufacturing facilities and the paramount focus that is common throughout them all is to shop cleanliness.  A clean shop is safer, more productive, and there is less physical risk, from fire hazards for example.  A clean shop will help keep you safer and is also much easier to walk through.

c)  Part-Time business – you have gotten really good at making furniture and have decided to start selling it – keep an eye out for this because you are walking a fine line between personal and business use.  If your shop tools are used for business use – your home policy may not cover them if they are stolen.  Keep in mind that there may be endorsements available to your policy that could include some business use if you need it.

d)  Dust and Debris removal – dust – especially wood dust – is bad for your health if your breathe it in. Make sure that you have proper ventelation in your shop and wear a proper dust mask.  If you’re not healthy, you can’t work on your projects!

The best advice I can give the average DIY is, take extra time, measure twice, cut once and watch out for splinters!

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