Do-it-yourself (DIY) offers a great way to save money and learn new skills. But before you tackle that home improvement project you saw online or on cable TV, practice these safety measures to avoid injury while getting game-winning results.

Score Points With Safety Equipment
Just like a helmet and pads are required on a football field, safety items are essential for DIY tasks. Read and follow directions on every power tool you use. Wearing eye and ear protection and gloves, as well as tying back loose hair and securing loose clothing, are all important to keeping you safe. If renting a tool, ask the store for safety tips.

Look Up, Down, And All-Around
For outside projects, first, check the area where you will be working. Identify potential hazards and take time to avoid or correct any problems. Don’t forget to look up for power lines and avoid using long poles or ladders within 10 feet of overhead wires. Will your project involve any digging? Call 811 before you dig even if you think you know where underground lines may be. The 811 services will mark all underground lines in your area for free before you start work.

Avoid The Blitz
Water and electricity don’t mix, so avoid running cords through wet areas. Inspect cords for fraying or damage before use and be sure outlets can handle any extra load from power tools. Overloading outlets can lead to more than shock: Fire hazards may result from demanding too much from an electrical system.

Be Honest With Yourself
If a job seems like it might be too much to handle, leave it to the professionals. Take into consideration heavy lifting, expensive tools that will only be used once and whether you really have the time. That way, you won’t be tempted to skip safety measures.