Plumbing Safety in Your Home – Dos and Don’ts to keep your family safe

Health and safety is a big issue for contracted workers, and it is an even bigger issue for homeowners trying to keep their family safe. Maintaining and repairing your home’s water system and plumbing is an important step in ensuring the health and safety of your family. It’s also important that when a plumber is hired to repair some damage in the home, that they are safe and no workplace hazards are around to potentially harm someone. Many plumbing specialists are finding that more and more health and safety concerns are making themselves known, and current legislation demands you to take your responsibilities seriously.

There are various problems that you may need to consider when ensuring the plumbing in your home is safe – and when you need to call a professional. Exposure to hazardous substances like asbestos or exposed wiring, exposure to biohazards like raw sewage, exposure to electrics, burns from steam or hot water are all problems that can very easily be found in many homes. The Plumbing Manufacturers International association has advocated for solutions to health and safety hazards that arise in wet-bathroom environments, such as scalding and slipping. This advocacy has led to product innovations that protect individuals of all ages and enable individuals with diminishing physical capabilities to use the bathroom independently and always with dignity.

Before doing anything to your home, with or without a professional there are some safety tips recommended by the Plumbing Manufacturers International association that you should consider. First, it is important that you are informed of the building codes and laws before starting a plumbing project. Hiring a professional is important in situations when you need to get a permit for the project as they are very familiar with these standards and procedures. Second, protect your eyes. Wear safety glasses when doing any plumbing work. It is very easy for small pieces of debris to fly out of the area you are working, eyes are sensitive and should always be protected when working around potentially hazardous materials. You should also consider wearing a mask in order to protect your lungs.

The PMI association also has a list of things you should not to when inspecting, repairing or replacing the plumbing system in your home. It should go without saying but never work while impaired on electrical, plumbing, or any other home improvement projects. It is tempting to crack a beer while working on your home but letting it get out of hand will put you as well as anyone else in the home in serious danger. “Impaired” can also mean overly tired or ill. Remember if you’re not in the right state of mind to work, don’t work.

It’s also important to never misuse tools or equipment. Tools should be used for their intended purpose only, getting creative with plumbing or electrical equipment is a disaster waiting to happen. Poorly maintained tools can also be a safety hazard. If you don’t have the right equipment, or your tools are old and not have seen better days, it’s important to call a professional who will have up-to-date tools. Check power tools before using them to ensure they are in good condition. When working with tools, not only should they be in proper condition, but you should have the proper attire on. Placing or keeping tools in your pockets instead of in a tool belt can cause serious harm when you least expect it.

Another “Don’t” from the PMI association is do not to ignore safety codes or the smell of gas. Ignoring either of these things spells disaster for anyone involved in the project. Ignoring safety codes is a silly thing to do as they are put in place for the very reason of protecting the public. Ignoring the smell of gas can be quickly lethal. If you smell natural gas or you even suspect a gas leak you should stop what you are doing right away and call a professional. Plumbers are trained to work with gas lines, and gas line repairs. If it is safe to do so, you should turn off the gas before the professional arrives. However, if you don’t feel comfortable doing so, or you are unsure of how to turn off the gas it is best to wait for the hired plumber.

Plumbing safety is easily overlooked, however, it should be considered at every point in a do-it-yourself project or any other project in your home. Not considering plumbing safety can be lethal for you and your whole family.

Written by Tanya Klien

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