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Safety Tips for When You're Working In the Attic

Working in your attic this time of year can leave you dehydrated and suffering from heat exhaustion. The obstacles and materials likely found up there pose other dangers too, such as trip and fall accidents, head injuries, electrical shocks and exposure to insulation fibers.

To stay safe during any attic foray, make sure you're well-hydrated and wear head protection, goggles and a respirator mask. Additionally, take these proactive safety-wise steps:

Build Sturdy Walkways

If you have stored items, or HVAC or other equipment that is accessed periodically, create secure walkways to where they're located. Choose a direct path and move potential obstacles first. Then, lay down two or three 1x4 boards side by side to form a pathway. Be sure to nail or screw the ends of the boards to your floor joists so they won't wobble or slip.

Avoid Electrical Shocks

Do a thorough scan of the attic to identify potential electrical hazards, like loose wiring run underneath the insulation, frayed or gnawed-on wiring or open junction boxes. If there are any concerning issues, get them fixed promptly by a licensed electrician.

Install Ample Lighting

If you only have a couple of single-bulb light fixtures in your attic, have the electrician install more, and place them where they'll best illuminate equipment or storage areas. You can also put a portable work light and long extension cord close to the access hatch so you have extra task lighting if it's needed.

Schedule Work for the Early Morning

Now that the temperature outdoors is getting warmer, your attic can reach 120+ degrees by midday. To limit your risk of overheating and dehydration, plan to tackle any attic-related chores in the early morning. If your HVAC equipment needs maintenance, schedule your appointment before 9 a.m. so the technician can get the work finished while the space is cooler.

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