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Attic Safety Tips

 

Copy of 20130313_131434There are numerous reasons why you may enter an attic.  You may use it for storage and want to retrieve an item or you may be analyzing whether or not it’s time to replace the insulation.  There are many safety hazards and the following should be considered before you make the journey into the attic .

 

  1. Work in the attic only when temperatures are reasonable.  It gets hot up there and conversely it can get cold.  Attics can heat up to about 160 degrees Fahrenheit!  Depending on the ventilation in your attic and your climate you can avoid temperature extremes by going in the morning, in the day or late at night.  If you find it is still unbearable than you may need to increase the ventilation.  Click here to learn more about this.
  2. Work with a partner when you can.  It may make the work you need to do go faster, it also means that you’ll have assistance should a problem occur.
  3. Bring a flashlight with you.  Many areas of the attic can lack proper lighting making it hard to avoid stepping in the wrong place and getting scrapes or injuries from nails sticking through the roof.
  4. Make sure that the attic space is well ventilated.
  5. Consider wearing a hard hat or at least a baseball cap or hoodie to help prevent scrapes and more serious injuries.   Often, roofs will have nails sticking through the roof sheathing or other areas.   If you can’t wear a hat or don’t want to wear one – then  at minimum pay attention to wear you are and rely on judgement to avoid injury.
  6. If the attic is unfinished, watch where you walk. If you step in the wrong place, you could fall through the ceiling. Step and stand only on the attic joists or trusses or the center of a strong movable working surface.
  7. Electrical wiring, particularly around junction boxes and old wiring can be dangerous.  Never staple through, near, or over electrical wiring.  Repair any obvious frayed or damaged wiring in advance of any work you may perform in the attic.
  8. Certain kinds of insulation attract rodents, bugs and other wildlife.  If you see damage or evidence of any of these it is a good idea to do some research on specific rodents and insects in your local area and if necessary bring in a professional to take care of those problems.
  9. Insulation2Have you had your shots!  When was your last tetanus shot?  Those nicks, scrapes and cuts you can get from the nails on the underside of the roof in the attic can have serious consequences.  If you do get any nicks or cuts – make sure you take care of them properly and as promptly as possible.
  10. If you will be working with insulation then consider that handling conventional insulation may cause skin, eye, and respiratory system irritation then please wear protective clothing, gloves, eye protection, and breathing protection.

 

Do you have any useful tips?  What has your experience taught you?  Please share them below in the comments section.

 

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