In the home, someone is injured every two seconds and every seven minutes someone dies, according to the National Safety Council. As you plan home improvement projects to tackle this fall, be sure to plan for safety.

Do some research

Do-it-yourselfers often rent tools and so may have little experience using them. Do your research and choose the right tool for the job. Consider that more than 6,000 people are injured each year using pressure washers, about 37,000 nail-gun injuries occur annually, and NSC data shows nearly 25,000 people were injured using chainsaws in 2015.

Things to remember

Putting sweat equity into a home is one thing, but home improvement should never involve a trip to the emergency room. To avoid mishaps, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Read instructions and learn how to operate power tools.

  • Store hand tools out of reach of children.

  • Wear personal protective equipment to minimize hazard risks, including goggles, masks and gloves.

  • Never point a pressure washer’s jet spray at anyone and never use a pressure washer in an enclosed space; combustion engines emit poisonous carbon monoxide.

  • When using a nail gun, keep hands and fingers out of the line of fire and aim the gun away from your body.

  • When using a chainsaw, watch for branches under tension; they could spring out and knock you off balance.

  • Choose a ladder that is right for the job and consider how high you need to reach, how much weight the ladder will need to hold and whether you are working indoors or outdoors.

  • When replacing a ceiling fan or light fixture, flip the switch on your circuit breaker to turn off the power and check wires in the electrical box with a non-contact voltage tester.

  • Don’t overload extension cords, particularly when stringing holiday lights.

  • Be wary when working on homes built before 1978, which may have lead-based paint; lead-contaminated dust poses a particular risk to children.

By taking precautions, you will be able to look at your handiwork for years to come without being reminded of a painful experience.