If you’re serious about DIY, you probably have a burgeoning collection of tools. Indeed, given the multitude of odd jobs and minor repairs most of us undertake, a little time spent planning for the safe storage of tools and other DIY-related materials pays dividends in the long run.
Prolong the life of your tools
Make sure tools are clean of any dirt or mud before putting them away. A quick brush over is usually sufficient, however, to get rid of more stubborn dirt, you may need to soak tools in hot water or wash with white spirit. Be sure to dry metal parts with a rag or paper towel and apply a lubricating oil to prevent the onset of rust. Treat rough areas of wooden components to a sanding down followed by a waxing, as this too will help extend a product’s life. Rubbing wooden handles with a cloth dabbed in linseed oil will also help maintain them and prevent blisters to your hands.
Keep your tools – and yourself – safe
For the purpose of storage, most tools come in awkward shapes and sizes. For this reason, try to find – or create – a good sized space where they won’t trip you up or be piled on top of each other. Ensuring easy access to your tools reduces the risk of damage to them – and you!
Similarly, avoid leaving tools lying around on the floor. We all know what happens when you tread on a rake, for example (it happens more often than you may think!) – and the risk of a painful injury is real. A good solution for long-handled tools is to keep them in a bucket where they neither come to, or cause, any harm. Even better, half-fill a large barrel with sand and a small amount of oil and place the cutting edge of your tools, upright, into the mix. This will clean and protect the business end of your tools and reduce the risk of injury.
Make sure any wall-mounted shelving is firmly anchored with suitable fixings for the type of wall in your garage, shed etc. and that freestanding storage units are placed on a flat, even surface. Position tools so that any sharp edges face the wall.
Tools are valuable. They can also be dangerous if they fall into the wrong hands, so where possible, ensure your tool storage area is lockable. Try to keep power tools and hazardous substances out of the reach of children. If space permits, think about installing a locking cabinet in the storage area for this purpose.
Labelling the storage positions for your tools will not only help you (and others) locate and return everything to its rightful place, but will also show you if something is missing.
Think about placing a bench in your home or work area where you clean, sharpen and maintain your tools before you take them to storage. Not only will this save you time, but it may make you more inclined to maintain your equipment in tip top condition.
Hazardous materials and substances – ten Tips
If you’re storing hazardous materials or substances, make sure you check the relevant health and safety legislation and your local fire safety information. In any case, minimise risk by taking these basic precautions:
1.Always follow manufacturers’ instructions
2.Keep only the minimum amount of hazardous substances you need
3.Store different substances separately
4.Ensure adequate ventilation
5.Store flammable substances away from possible ignition sources, eg heaters, direct sunlight etc.
6.Ensure pets and children cannot get access to hazardous substances
7.Keep a fire extinguisher and clean-up materials in the storage area.
8.Store the relevant local authority phone number for hazardous substance leaks in your telephone.
9.Keep the product in its original container with the label affixed. If you must change containers, keep the original label with the new container.
10.Use corrosion-resistant storage trays and shelves. Keep containers sealed when not in use.
For further information go to Big Yellow Self Storage