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

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1
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1answer
28 views

Correct gauge of wire to power 2 ceiling lightnings

I was attempting a simple home improvement project that has slowly become a bigger job than I expected. So my aunt had a light bulb hanging from the ceiling in the corridor and wanted it replaced ...
1
vote
1answer
29 views

Using a Light Bulb Socket Switch to Control a Buzzer

I am currently using a turn knob switch for light bulbs to enable and disable a buzzer. I think the buzzer runs at 12 volts and draws a few amps. Is this safe? Unless I'm told otherwise my basic ...
4
votes
3answers
13k views

Why does my laptop charger make a spark when plugged in?

From time to time (not always but often enough) when I plug my laptop's charger in the wall outlet it makes a spark (even if I use different outlets it's the same). Why does it do this? Is this a ...
1
vote
2answers
485 views

How to install 230V Light with Light-activated-resistor?

I am trying to set up light-activated-resistors that activate a light during dark hours. I have bought a ready Chinese thing that apparently contain a driver to change from AC to proper DC output for ...
3
votes
5answers
32k views

How do I pressure test a natural gas line and what do the valve pressure ratings mean?

I'm planning to add an appliance to my house, and will want to do a pressure test of the newly installed gas lines. My main shutoff says 175 PSI, but most of the appliance valves say either 1/2 or 5 ...
16
votes
5answers
21k views

Extension cord and power strip safety

I've heard that there are some safety and building code issues involved with using extension cords or power strips (surge protectors) for anything other than temporary use. What are the issues, and ...
2
votes
2answers
65 views

How do I make my gas oven produce less carbon monoxide?

I had someone perform a combustion safety test on my oven today and he discovered that it's producing an elevated level of carbon monoxide compared to average: 80 PPM. He said the best ovens he's seen ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

What is an oven anti-tip device and how do you install one?

I'm trying to sell a home, and we're in the inspection / repair phase. The buyers asked for me to install an anti-tip device for the oven in the kitchen, and I'm not even sure what that is. Can ...
0
votes
3answers
72 views

Using half of a 240v dual-phase circuit as a 120v single-phase circuit (US)

Usually when I see a 240v device, it is wired to its own double-pole circuit breaker, with each pole connected to a different 120v phase (to provide 240v total). If there is a 120v device in the same ...
3
votes
2answers
89 views

What are the code requirements for crossing a buried LPG line with an electric line?

Trenching for 1" Non-Metallic Liquidtight Conduit Type LFNC-B with 18" cover (10-3 W/G UF wire installed, 240V with 30A breaker) to serve a well. Just bumped into LPG line crossing conduit's path at ...
7
votes
2answers
495 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

Is the light intensity from inverter type welders different from transformer type welders?

I have tried researching this, but cannot find any supporting information. I would like to know if the light intensity from inverter type welders is different to transformer type welders, and if so, ...
1
vote
2answers
95 views

Safely use a bare light socket

I've got a box of sockets like this: I was planning to mount a few of these on the ceiling, but am wondering about safety since the hot wire is essentially exposed, and would be very close to one's ...
2
votes
2answers
139 views

When does one get a new extinguisher or recharge?

Do you have to recharge a fire extinguisher every year even if if still shows some charge? Is the year the standard or does it depend on whether the extinguisher is showing no charge? What if it ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Ways to Safely Repair 45 Degree Pitched Roof without Jacks?

What methods can a person use to safely repair a roof that is slanted at a 45 degree (or greater) angle without using Roof Jacks? Is there anyway it is possible for a person to safely walk on such a ...
2
votes
1answer
274 views

How do I determine what max 3 way bulb will be safe in my lamp?

I bought a lamp that has a metal shade. The sticker says max 60 watt but it clicks 3 times like a 3-way with the light coming on on the second click. How do I determine what max 3 way bulb will be ...
3
votes
5answers
7k views

How can I make wooden stairs slip-proof?

My wife loves the idea of removing our stair carpet and putting bold/bright wallpaper on the vertical faces (risers)... ...but we're concerned that the horizontal parts (treads) would be much more ...
2
votes
1answer
11k views

How to cover an open/exposed wire fast and safe for a long period?

I have a 3 pin socket on the wall that is broken and I'm going to fix it. And while at that, I also want to fix the wall (re-cement it and paint it again). After I dismantle the socket, the 3 wires ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the relative importance of cut-retardant safety gloves when using a chainsaw?

I am evaluating some cut-retardant gloves for use with a chainsaw. At first the idea of protecting my hands appealed to me, but later I couldn't really justify to myself why that purchase would make ...
6
votes
1answer
124 views

Why do fire extinguishers lose pressure over time?

We have a lot of fire extinguishers we're using in our company, and I'm wondering why fire extinguishers become depressurized even they're not being used, just on standby. I want to know why it's ...
1
vote
1answer
839 views

Safety of 3-Way Lightbulb That Exceeds Max Wattage Only On Highest Setting

Can you safely use a 3-way bulb (50-100-150W) for a lamp that accepts a 100W bulb maximum? Is there any fire hazard involved?
6
votes
4answers
2k views

How to I safely anchor a safety line to a chimney?

I am going to be installing an antenna at the top of my brick chimney and I'd like to be able to use a safety line with a fall arrestor. The chimney visually looks OK. I'm trying to figure out the ...
0
votes
1answer
301 views

My roommate accidentally(?) left the stove on. Should I be concerned? [closed]

Not sure if this is the right place to ask, but it's somewhat of a safety question, so here goes... I came home from work the other day and saw there was a pot on the stove. Thinking one of my ...
4
votes
3answers
778 views

Should I replace ALL the fuses in plugs?

In certain countries (for example the UK), plugs have fuses in them. In most cases, this is a stand 13 A fuse. My question: If I know that a device (to which the plug is attached) won't draw even a ...
5
votes
3answers
15k views

Why did I feel an electric current when touching my light switch?

While reaching behind a desk in my office, I leaned against the wall and felt a pinch on my shoulder. I realized I was leaning on the lower screw of the light switch and thought it had a metal burr or ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Can I use two ladders to create a makeshift scaffold?

I have a really high stairwell to do walls around (cca 18 ft). Scaffolding is impractical. I had rigged a temporary platform that I used to hang drywall and it worked well but I had to remove it ...
1
vote
3answers
258 views

Is is safe to deal with wiring after only shutting off the room's fuse, but not the main switch?

I think the question title says it all: Given a distribution board in the house (220 VAC), is it enough to shut off only the room's fuses, or must one shut off the main switch for the board before ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Outdoor electrical outlet exposed to the rain

Besides tripping a circuit breaker, is there any risk created by a 120V electrical outlet getting wet from the rain? The outlet was installed on an outdoor patio by the builder, so it was intended to ...
4
votes
4answers
5k views

How safe is having my boiler in my daughter's bedroom?

I just moved into a new house where the 10 year old boiler is located in the bedroom where my 3 year old daughter sleeps. I'd like to get an idea of how safe/dangerous this situation is. Could the ...
0
votes
3answers
180 views

Are my outlets unsafe?

Some (but not all) of the electrical outlets in my kitchen look like this: (I don't know what this kind of outlet is called.) One of those outlets is where I plug in my toaster oven. In the last 6 ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

When is it generally safe/acceptable to use a wire nut?

Can someone please clarify for me when exactly it's safe/acceptable to use wire nuts? Regional building codes withstanding, I think the general rules of thumb are: Only use wire nuts in ...
5
votes
3answers
18k 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?
4
votes
2answers
448 views

What kinds of gloves should be used for working with mortar?

I am currently working on my eagle scout project, and I will be using mortar to put together part of my project (I know this doesn't completely apply to home improvement so if this is the wrong place ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Properly venting a gas water heater

Ahh, the joys of an old house. The former owners of my house did some funky stuff with venting the water heater. Let me explain: the water heater is in the basement there is a 3 in single walled ...
13
votes
5answers
14k views

How do I keep my Christmas tree from falling over?

It never fails: I bring home a 9-foot pine, cut the trunk flat, remove the lower branches, and place our Christmas tree in the stand only to have it fall over a little later in the evening. How can I ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Is there a danger of back flow from water heater while replacing a saddle valve?

We have a leaky saddle valve feeding our humidifier. We eventually want to get a real valve installed, but for now are looking for a cheap near-term solution. Here is my concern: the original ...
1
vote
2answers
77 views

Removing a leftover oil-burner safety switch?

When I converted from oil to gas heat, the contractors left the remote "emergency off" switch in the circuit. I've since been told that these are explicitly Not Recommended for gas furnaces. Is that ...
7
votes
5answers
4k views

Is it safe to run a USB cable inside a wall?

I need to extend a USB device from a corner of my room to the above the fireplace. Since I'm already going to be installing some HDMI and audio cables through the wall, I'd like to have my USB device ...
10
votes
4answers
9k views

Best practice for oily rag safety?

Most everyone's heard about piles of oily/greasy rags igniting. Linseed oil seems to be a popular culprit for it, but I've also recently heard claims of common automotive oil being involved. I've ...
0
votes
0answers
66 views

Asbestos in my furnace closet - should I get rid of it?

I have a home built in 1958 with a closet inside the house that contains the furnace. When the house was constructed this closet was lined with asbestos as a safety measure. How dangerous is it for my ...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

How do I safely paint the walls and ceiling in this high ceiling staircase?

I need to paint the walls and ceiling in this staircase. The ceiling is flat, and does not slope down with the stairs. That means that the ceiling at the bottom of the stairs is very high. The walls ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

At what height should a stair handrail be?

I am almost dne replacing the steps to my front porch. It is 5 steps so I definitly need a handrail, but I don't know exactly how high to make it. I have some posts that should be plenty tall but I ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Should a fire alarm be installed in the attic?

I installed hard-wired and interconnected smoke alarms through the house. I wondered, though, if a fire spread through my attic I might not know about it until the ceiling or roof collapsed. Should I ...
17
votes
9answers
7k views

Would bullet proof glass help deter burglars? How does it compare to normal glass?

We consider buying an apartment, which has previously been used as a shop. Our only concern is that it has large windows (2,5 meters x 2,5 meters), which would function like an invitation to burglars. ...
1
vote
1answer
109 views

Are molds dangerous to health if they are not in my own apartment?

I need a help to decide if I will move out from this building because of mold and health risks. Is it dangerous to live in a buliding in which the hallway is full of mold? I've been reading about ...
3
votes
3answers
130 views

What is a quick and easy way to disable a door so you can no longer use it?

I have a two story home with a one story garage attached. The garage has a flat roof. I can access the roof through a door in my upstairs bedroom. At one time the garage roof had a fence around the ...
2
votes
4answers
447 views

What's the recommended distance of a fire pit from a building?

I'd like to know if there's an argumentation-/science-based recommendation regardless of the specific laws in different countries. Boundaries/parameters of my question: fire pit for making a(n open) ...
-2
votes
0answers
114 views

Why do outlet faceplates use flathead screws? [closed]

I had to take the faceplate off of an outlet to paint. I was surprised to see that is was attached by a flathead screw. Since then, I've been checking other outlets and just about every one uses a ...
12
votes
6answers
3k views

Electric shock - was I stupid, unlucky, or a combination of both?

One of the double sockets in our garage needed replacing (damaged after a washing pole hit it) - a pretty trivial job that I'd done before. So I flipped the MCB for the ring main, used a non-contact ...
13
votes
10answers
3k views

How can I protect my fingers while using a band saw?

I intend on using a band saw to cut out large meeples (the wooden pieces from the board game Carcassonne) from a 2x4 board. I'm worried about cutting my fingers. What tool can I use to help keep ...