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Power tool safety tips

Power tools can dramatically reduce the time it takes to complete home improvement projects. Professional contractors regularly rely on power tools for cutting and sanding, and many do-it-yourself renovators follow suit and invest in power tools to help get the job done. But power tools, in spite of their usefulness, are not without risk. According to the Work Safe Center, power tool injuries account for as many as 400,000 emergency room visits in the United States each year. Power nailers, chain saws and table saws account for the greatest number of injuries. Keeping safe is of the utmost priority when using power tools. Here's how:

• Read all manufacturers' instructions and guidelines before use.

• Keep your tools clean and in proper operating condition.

• Use the right tool for the job.

• Always wear eye protection, such as safety glasses or goggles.

• Wear standard cotton or leather work gloves to protect hands.

• Consider the use of earplugs or earmuffs with loud power tools.

• Don't use power tools in proximity to flammable vapors, dust or construction materials.

• Always check that wires are kept away from blades.

• Maintain a tight grip on a tool.

• Do not overreach when using tools, and maintain balance.

• Pay attention when working with any power tool.

• Only use attachments specifically recommended for the power tools and ensure proper installation.

• Unplug all power tools during breaks and anytime when tools are not in use.

• Routinely inspect tools for damage.

• Keep tools stored in secure locations when not in use.