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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

1
vote
2answers
49 views

buried LPG line crossing new electric line: code requirements?

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 ...
0
votes
2answers
63 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
133 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
1k 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
243 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
59 views

What tool should be used to open a beer? [closed]

So I'm on a job, and a guy hands me a bottle of beer with a non-twist off lid. I don't have a bottle opener in my tool belt, which tool should I reach for, and how should it be used to open the ...
3
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
474 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
9k 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
92 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
698 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
1k 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
136 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
18k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
758 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
13k 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
908 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
252 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
921 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
28k 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
169 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
16k 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
391 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
1k 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
66 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
73 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
8k 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
57 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
3k 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 ...
16
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
97 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
122 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
123 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
110 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
252 views

Can a 1x4 jack stud be used instead of a 2x4?

I just noticed that my contractor,whom is building a shed, has cut the sole plate and replaced the jack stud with a 1 by 4 to accommodate a door he ordered. He had framed the opening too small and ...
3
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
11k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Is ceiling fan missing grounding wire from the ceiling box, and is this safe?

I recently had a contractor/handyman install a Hunter ceiling fan for me. It worked great, but my wife came home and thought it was too big. I ordered a different Hunter fan, and figured I could ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

Is it safe to shut off cold water entering water heater?

I have a pretty bad situation at my place. I have a leaky shower faucet which has gone from drips to a steady stream. I calculated the flow at .3 gallons per minute. My very old home has no private ...
14
votes
4answers
72k views

How do you know when and where it is safe to drill into a wall?

Lots of home projects involve cutting or drilling through walls (everything from nails, screws, or hooks to mount things to cutting through drywall and drilling through studs to run wire). In ...
3
votes
1answer
422 views

Can I build 11' x 5.5' loft with 2x2x8 beam and 2x4 joist?

I have looked at a lot of span tables and calculators and am not sure if I can safely build this loft. It is in a garage and will need to bear the weight of two or three people and a build-in desk ...