Your attic can be a hazardous place to work. Heat rises, so spending any amount of time in this unconditioned space poses a risk of overheating. Working in the attic presents a host of other dangers, too, such as tripping, falling, electrical shocks, impact head injuries and exposure to insulation fibers. You can increase attic safety by wearing a respirator mask, safety glasses and head protection, and taking the following precautions in advance.
Create a Walking Path
If you have equipment in the attic that needs periodic maintenance, move any obvious tripping hazards out of the way and create a walking path to make it safely accessible and reduce the risk of tripping and falls. You can use side-by-side 1x4s to make a two-board wide path. Make sure each end is secured and resting on a framing member so it can’t slip.
Reduce the Risk of Electrical Shocks
Have a look around the attic for any potential electrical hazards, such as open electrical boxes, wiring that’s been gnawed on by rodents, wiring that’s hidden under insulation, or damaged or frayed extension cords that need replacement. If you find any issues, have a licensed electrician make the needed repairs.
Add Ample Lighting
Unfinished attics often only have a couple of centrally-located basic light fixtures. You can add more by having an electrician install extra fixtures, or leaving a long extension cord and portable LED work light in the attic to use as needed.
Schedule Attic Work Early in the Day
If you need to do any type of work in the attic, plan it for early in the day. By 10 a.m., your attic temperature will likely be over 90 degrees. By 3 p.m., it can reach 140 degrees or more. If you’re scheduling maintenance for HVAC equipment that’s located in the attic, book the appointment for 9 a.m. or earlier so your technician has time to inspect, tune up and clean the equipment before the temperature rises too high for safety.