I know I talk to you about a lot of new technology, but I also want to use this blog to educate you about installing your own technology and also safety. So today I’m going to talk to you a little bit about attic safety. These tips are ones that you can use if you are retro-fitting technology in your existing home, or even if you are just doing any type of work in your attic space.
You might need to go into the attic to run wires for things like cameras, an over-the-air antenna, speakers, or a wireless access point. Or maybe you need to get up there for other things like maintenance, adding some additional insulation or maybe even to fend off some sort of critter that is trying to establish occupancy up there. These tips should help you to be safe and assist you in making things easier while you are working in your attic.
- Have a plan. If you are going into your attic space, it’s always best to know exactly what you will be doing up there and what tools you might need. Having a plan for what you are going to be doing and taking the time to amass all of the tools you’ll need in one space will help save time and hopefully decrease the number of trips that you might need to make up there.
- Know your entrance and exit. When you are going into your attic, some attic accesses have stairs built into them that will slide out and other times you will need to get a ladder set up under the attic access to climb up in. If you need to set up a ladder, it’s important that you make sure that you have a ladder that is tall enough for you to safely enter the attic access and that it’s tall enough for you to step safely down onto it as you exit. It’s amazing how far down that first step can feel as you are coming out of the attic and you get over the edge of the attic access.
- Know where you can step. In an attic space its VERY important that you know where you can step…no one wants to come through the ceiling! The best places to step is along the bottom chord of the attic truss or if possible and there is enough space, I like to try to walk on the gusset plates as that spot can be very secure and stable in the attic. When you are walking through the attic its always important to make sure that you are maintaining 3 touch points for safety. That means that you should have your feet and one hand solidly placed while moving your other hand and securing it before you move one of your feet. (See the video to watch 3 touch point walking through an open attic on my Instagram TV or Facebook Page.). You can also look at the 3 attic truss diagrams here that I created to help you navigate your way through the attic space.
- Know where things can go. If you are wiring in your attic, it’s important to know where you can put the wiring safely. With wiring, you want to make sure that the wiring is placed in a way that you won’t step on it or get caught up in it later. I like to try to run all of the wires close to the outer most edge of the roof whenever possible. This way you are the least likely to have any issues with it in the future. There are also many ways that you are able to secure the wires up and out of the way, just make sure that you don’t secure it too close to the plywood sheathing. This is because if you have the roof redone, the roofing nails won’t damage the wires.
- Hydrate. Attic temperatures can reach 150-160 degrees Fahrenheit on a summer day in Michigan when it’s only 95-97 degrees outside. So even on a cooler day, it’s easy to get overheated. Make sure that you have plenty of water close at hand. About 5 minutes in up there and I can already feel the sweat starting to bead down my brow. Staying hydrated also helps to make sure that you have clarity while you are up in the attic as well. When you get dehydrated, you can get light headed and make poor choices and may end up taking faulty steps.
I hope these tips help you as you tackle your project in the attic. It really is important to take safety precautions while you are up there. It isn’t often that you will need to go up in an attic, but when you do, following these simple tips should make your time up there safer. If you decide you’d rather hire someone to tackle your attic walking for a camera system or to build out your wireless network, feel free to give us a call at TruMedia. You can visit us at www.TruMediaHome.com or visit our Facebook or Instagram pages.
Also, make sure you go there to check out a great video of my son learning how to attic walk using the three point touch method I spoke about in tip #3.
If you have any technology you’d like me to check out or have any questions about how we do things as Technology Designers, please feel free to shoot me a message. I am happy to see what I can do to check it out.