There are lots of great ¬– and sometimes necessary – reasons to renovate, but there are also hidden dangers, especially if you’re living in your home during the makeover process. When children are part of the equation, the risks of worksite injury, or worse, are magnified.
Taking proper precautions, including ‘kid-proofing’ your renovation zone, will significantly minimise those risks and make the whole process less stressful. Here are 11 simple steps to reduce the renovation risks to children.
Talk to your tradie
If you’re using a project manager, a good starting point is to advise them that there are, or may be, young children around. If you’re managing the project yourself, make sure the individual tradespeople are aware and ask them to keep the site as safe as possible.
Create a no-go zone
Keep the renovation site completely off-limits, or at least out of bounds for children unless they’re under adult supervision.
Set the ground rules
For older children, explain the renovation dangers and set down safety rules to be observed during the project. Make sure you enforce your rules at all times.
Lead by example
Kids watch and copy adults. Consider how you act on site, especially if your kids are around. If you’re not safe, chances are they won’t be either.
If your renovation site doesn’t require barricades, consider buying and erecting some temporary fencing panels so children are unable to gain easy access.
Make sure there’s good signage to deter young intruders. These can include Keep Out and No Entry signs, which are readily available.
Always wear protection
If your children enter the renovation zone, make sure they always wear sturdy shoes or boots. If work is underway, they may also need gloves, protective eyewear and head protection such as a helmet.
Remove small hazards
Clean up the renovation area on a daily basis, or even more frequently, removing loose nails, screws and any other stepping or trip hazards.
Put tools out of reach
If tradespeople happen to leave their tools out overnight, pick the tools up and put them well out of reach. Power tools should be unplugged and ideally taken off site each day.
Check for toxic chemicals
Paints, solvents and other toxic materials such as fillers are often left on site. Place them on a high shelf, or lock them away.
Use common sense
Building sites are inherently dangerous. If you don’t need to take your children on site, it’s best not to. That’s the easiest way of avoiding any incidents.
Whether you’re undertaking a large-scale renovation or just a small kitchen revamp, building sites are full of traps for children. Taking some basic steps such as keeping the area as secure as possible will reduce the chances of children entering unattended and being hurt.
If you’re planning to renovate your home, a mortgage broker can guide you through the financing process. Contact yours to find out more.