For questions generally relating to preventing or avoiding injury in the home or on the job site.

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6
votes
2answers
2k views

If I do not have any fuel burning devices, do I need a carbon monoxide detector?

Is there any reason that a home without any fuel burning devices would need a carbon-monoxide detector?
3
votes
2answers
703 views

How to safely install a window AC unit?

I have a standard air conditioner. I have just dropped it into the window and slammed the window closed. I am just a bit concerned that If there were high winds or an earthquake the unit could drop ...
4
votes
3answers
8k views

What kind of gloves do I need for working around electrical wires?

What kind of gloves could I wear before manipulating electric wires if I really want to be safe even after having turned off house electricity? And where to buy them?
12
votes
2answers
826 views

We built a pergola, is it safe?

We found a pergola design that we loved and copied the design but now that it's (mostly) up we are questioning its stability and safety. The 2x6 beams are notched 3" to fit together, which I have ...
7
votes
2answers
506 views

Is a negative reading from a non-contact voltage detector sufficient?

I'm a beginner at doing electrical work, and I want to make sure I'm not taking unnecessary risks. Let's say that I'm preparing to work on some wiring. I have a non-contact voltage detector that ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Are there any good videos available that teach basic carpentry?

I apologies if this was already covered but I could only find a thread on books, and it was geared towards someone having some basic skills already. While I am far from useless, I never had a reason ...
0
votes
2answers
147 views

Safety about windows

The house which I rent and am living in has a kitchen on the first floor, where there is a window facing the yard with its lower half covered by security bar and screen, like this one . Is it safe ...
1
vote
2answers
663 views

Recommended palm sander techniques?

I'm palm sanding (quarter sheet) flaking/chipped paint from exterior hardwood siding I want to preserve. I read some hints here, but I'm seeking any other labor-saving hints - this job is tedious. ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

Which tools should not be operated while wearing gloves?

Does anyone know of any safety organization like osha that gives a list of tools that should not be operated while wearing gloves? It has always been my understanting that a person should not wear ...
7
votes
3answers
417 views

Do Old Houses Have a Pre-determined Lifespan?

Taking into consideration the building supplies that were available in that time period for that particular geographic area (say, a major metropolitan city in the mid-western United States), do homes ...
0
votes
1answer
282 views

Where to find glass 'support' requirements?

Where could I go about finding the maximum safe span of a pane of glass for a specific width? I.e. say you had two rafters, X meters apart, with glazing bars, supporting a pane of toughened glass ...
2
votes
1answer
341 views

Alternatives to extension cord over the grass to light a Christmas tree

I have a nice little pine tree that sits about 30 feet from the corner of my house. Ideally, I think it would look nice to throw some Christmas lights on it and spread some holiday cheer. I hesitate ...
15
votes
9answers
849 views

What basic safety equipment should everyone have?

When doing DIY what safety kit should everyone have (and use)?
3
votes
1answer
245 views

Can I use a rusty soldering iron?

I am thinking of getting back into stained glass. One of the projects I want to work on is to fix a stained glass window that has a section with a crack in it. I was given a couple soldering irons ...
8
votes
2answers
330 views

Is it within code to complete 12g wiring circuit with 10g wire?

In installing a dishwasher on a dedicated 20amp circuit on 12g wiring, I've come short about 5 feet to run a line. I have some surplus, heavier, 10g wire. Would it be safe to install a junction box ...
5
votes
3answers
496 views

What is a UFCL brand circuit?

I'm shopping for a combination vent fan/light for a bathroom, and some of the ones I've found state this: UL Listed for use over bathtubs and showers when connected to a GFCI protected branch ...
7
votes
2answers
417 views

What is the best short-term solution for fused neutrals?

I have inherited a house that has been in my wife's family since 1860. I do not know when it was electrified, but it seems to have skipped knob and tube. There is a lot of fabric-covered wire, and ...
4
votes
2answers
246 views

Is operating a 66' boom lift something that a non-construction type homeowner could likely manage?

I'm wanting to mount a radio receiver (for internet access) to a really tall tree in my yard. I don't have a death wish so climbing it with tools is a non-starter. So I've been thinking about renting ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Is earthing required for a submersible water pump?

I have a submersible water pump with a power cable that ends with a three-pronged plug with a protective neutral contact. Having a matching outlet is problematic - there are only unearthed outlets at ...
6
votes
6answers
807 views

What is the safest way to cut up an old kerosene storage tank?

Folks, I need to remove an old kerosene storage tank (for central heating) from my in-laws back garden. The tank is moulded plastic, and has a 1,000 litre capacity. The access point it was ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Can a stove be beneath a window

I'm upgrading my kitchen and after endless deliberating, feel that the kitchen is best laid out having the stove directly beneath a window (the window is about 8" above the stove). I was wondering ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Covered or Locking Light Switch?

I have an attic fan that is operated by a regular old light (toggle) switch. The problem is that the switch was installed by the previous owner in the master walk-in closet, right where one would ...
8
votes
2answers
207 views

What is an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter?

What is an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) and where should they be used?
1
vote
3answers
122 views

Safest weed killers?

Are there any weed killers that aren't endocrine disruptors or carcinogens? I'm at war with dandelions, but prefer a few dandelions to cancer or reproductive damage, most days.
16
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the safe/correct way to work on gutters? From a ladder or from the roof?

I am very comfortable working on the gutters (usually just cleaning them) from one story up by just sitting on the roof. I do this on my own home over the garage and at my parents one-story home. I ...
3
votes
1answer
160 views

What is a propane burner with multiple torches called?

If you watch Mythbusters, you'll notice they have a propane burner with a bunch of nozzles at different angles. What is this called? I would like to make or purchase one for melting metal (in a ...
2
votes
2answers
322 views

Roof Safety: Proper way to adjust position of carabiner/lanyard on rope attached at the top of the roof

Here's a diagram of a typical harness system: X | | | ?-C-L-H | | | X = attachment point | = rope C = carabiner L = shock-absorbing lanyard H = harness What's the device called that allows you to ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I know if it is safe to remove a wall?

When looking at a wall, how can I tell if I can safely remove it?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Fire Extinguisher In Unheated Garage & Shed

We are talking about getting fire extinguishers for the various areas of our house. One place where it seems a fire extinguisher would be a good idea is the garage. I also plan on adding a shed to ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

What to do with an apartment with only 2-pronged outlets

I just rented an apartment (Colorado, for what it's worth RE code) that has 2-pronged outlets throughout the place except for two GFCI's, one in the bathroom and one in the kitchen. I bought the ...
1
vote
4answers
3k views

How do I take a live wire off of a two way switch?

if I know how to take the live wire off then my job is easier.
2
votes
3answers
6k views

Is there a “safe” sub-floor leveling compound?

I have some gashes in my sub-floor that I'd like to fill/level before placing laminate flooring down. Upon checking at my local home depot, I found some floor leveling compound but quite frankly, I'm ...
12
votes
4answers
386 views

What should I know about radon levels at home? What levels are safe and do they affect resale value?

My wife and I are looking to buy our first home. We recently found one, but a report says the radon levels inside the home are unsatisfactory. I've never really been aware of radon levels in homes ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

What types of home radon mitigation systems have you used, and how well do they work?

What types of home radon mitigation systems have you used, and how well do they work? Do recommended types of mitigation systems vary significantly with varying levels of excess radon? Does climate ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Are there any “easy” ways to trace a home electrical system?

We bought a home a few months ago, and the electrical panel (and subpanel) are completely unlabelled. We have no way, short of flipping breakers, to know what breaker powers which fixtures. Is there a ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Why doesn't the main breaker shut off power for house?

Location: California | United States I'm certain I'll need a licensed electrician for this but wanted to get thoughts on what could be going on. I recently noticed that power remains on in my house ...
1
vote
4answers
2k views

How could I extend a baby gate at the bottom?

Our 11 month old is starting to crawl, and it is beyond time to put a baby gate at the top of the stairs. We received a baby gate, along with instructions, which clearly state that the maximum ...
5
votes
1answer
157 views

Should I install tamper resistant receptacles

When changing out receptacles should I be installing tamper resistant receptacles? It seems that the 2008 NEC requires these devices to be installed for any new install, should I be installing them ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

How do I fill a hole under a sidewalk?

The sidewalk leading up to my front door developed what looked like a sink hole under it about a year ago. Since then, an animal of some kind has made the hole even bigger and it now runs as a tunnel ...
4
votes
3answers
221 views

How do I get utility lines marked on my property?

In Michigan, there is a service called Miss Dig for identifying buried utility lines. We've just moved from Michigan to New Hampshire, and we would like to know where our utility lines are buried. ...
3
votes
2answers
922 views

Is it safe to use “PushFit” fitting on gas pipes?

There are many makes of pushfit pipe fittings that make it a lot easer to join pipes, incluing copper pipes, e,g: John Guest Speedfit Cuprofit®- copper push fit Hepworth-HEP20 Are they safe to ...
1
vote
2answers
165 views

Fitting glass fibre loft insulation - recommended eye protection

I've tried various goggles (some with more ventilation than others) and resorted to swimming goggles, but they all steam up after 60 seconds at the most. Maybe I sweat too much(!), but whatever I try ...
1
vote
1answer
295 views
0
votes
1answer
326 views

What is asbestos cement sheet?

How do I tell if I have asbestos cement sheet? How should I remove an asbestos cement sheet?