Safety products: In all flooring trades, a fire extinguisher (Photo 3) should be in the work vehicle for those unexpected emergencies. Although you hope to never have to utilize an extinguisher, it's nice to know you have one. Also, knowing how to work the extinguisher and what types of fire that it is approved for prior to an emergency is very important, as one could lose valuable time and property if not properly prepared. Photo 4 shows a pair of Kevlar gloves; this type of glove reduces the risks of cuts from razor blades and is helpful for those individuals just getting into the flooring trades and can also minimize cuts that occur when using a straightedge. The straightedge type cuts occur when the knife blade slips from the edge and the installer's hand that is holding down the straightedge is in the line of deflection. This type of accident has caused serious cuts that require stitches or major surgery.
Photo 5 shows gloves, safety glasses, and a respirator that are used in all flooring trades. Leather gloves protect the hands from wood splinters and blisters; rubber or chemical resistant gloves help protect when using chemicals. Safety glasses protect eyes from flying chips from wood, tile, take-up of existing materials etc.
Photo 6 shows why the gloves, safety glasses and respirator are necessary. This particular remodel had wall-to-wall carpet installed, and the homeowner purchased another type of flooring to be installed. The damage seen here was not visible until the installer started with the removal process.
Photo 7: It never fails that each year an installer, somewhere in the United States, causes fire to a structure and gets burns to the body, to even death from using flammable contact adhesives improperly. If you are going to be using flammable adhesives, remember to shut off ALL gas pilot lights and use proper ventilation to minimize the vapor buildup.
Remember, being prepared can save time, money, and most importantly, your health.