Six Superb Safety Suggestions for Working in the Attic

Let's face it - no one really likes working in the attic. It always seems hot up there, the space is always cramped, and you're always nervous about falling through the ceiling.

But sometimes you need to get up there for a home improvement project, especially checking on your insulation. Because we all know that having the correct amount of insulation helps our entire heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system work more efficiently when warming or cooling the home.

So before you ascend that ladder, we recommend that you abide by these terrific tips to ensure attic safety. Because like any project around the home, it all starts with preparation.

1. Plan Your Project
You should always have a clear plan of action for any project. You don't really want to just climb up there to hang out, do you?

2. Wear the Right Gear
And by gear, we means clothes and safety equipment. Yes, it's hot in your attic, but you really should wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, gloves, protective eyewear, and a mask. Doing so will protect your skin, eyes, and lungs from dust and insulation fibers.

3. Organize Your Equipment
Since space is at a premium in small attic spaces - and you definitely don't want to climb up and down the ladder all day - have a specific plan for what you need to get the job done when you get up there. This can be accomplished with a toolbox or tool belt, but don't use this as an excuse to bring everything. You don't need to spend time rooting around your supplies when you could be working.

4. Secure the Environment
Set down an old sheet in your work area and under the opening into the attic to catch any debris so it doesn't fall into the rest of the house. After that, ensure you have adequate lighting so you can see your work. Options include a headlamp, large flashlight, and portable lamp.

5. Keep It Cool
Did we mention it's hot in the attic? It's best to do your work in the attic on a cool day. If that isn't possible, start your work as early as possible in the morning. Remember, you're wearing protective clothing, so you're more likely to experience a heat-related health concern if you aren't careful with the time of your work in the attic.

6. Watch Out
This recommendation has three basic components, but they all boil down to: BE SAFE!

  • Be aware of tripping threats - extension cords, beams, trash, nails, and more;
  • Spread your weight - never rely on just one ceiling joist; and
  • Use a harness - you don't want to fall through the ceiling.

Working in the attic is never fun, but it doesn't have to be a chore you avoid until it's too late. With these 6 safety tips, you can accomplish your next project in the attic with ease.

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