If it seems we talk a lot about safety here at On The Level, it’s because it’s the most important part of every project. If I can’t get that through to you, please consider that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “each year, approximately 36,000 people are treated in hospital emergency departments for injuries using chain saws.” Got it? Don’t become a statistic. The combination of powerful cutting technology with scores of new do-it-yourselfers makes for a dicey combination. The New York Times has a big write-up of cautionary tales from DIYers and contractors, ranging from the man who nail-gunned his shoe to his foot to the guy who almost blew himself up by putting gas in his kerosene heater (a contractor stopped him right before he performed the fateful move). I was amused by the story of the guy who accidentally sawed through the branch that was supporting his ladder. Less so by the person who forgot to turn off the electricity in his house before installing a dishwasher, tragically violating the first law of all electrical work. Although the subject matter is grim, it’s worth a read. And please, please, please be safe out there.

Easy, Mr. Fix-It