Intro: How to Keep Your Instructables Danger-free (even More Valid in 2013!!!!)
I guess it's time to take the bull by the horns. Many of your Instructables have the potential to cause harm, especially to children. That doesn't have to be the case. We can have fun AND be safe! I make my living as a safety inspector in a Tool & Die plant. In the 16 years I've been there, their injury rate has dropped 30%. So I know what I'm talking about.
Hey folks, let's try to move the issue of safety from the back of our minds to the front! In this Instructable I will share with you some safety tips.
Step 1: Food Allergies Are REAL!
Sometimes you all get so excited about your Instructable, you neglect to think of how dangerous it can be. Ask yourself if anyone can be injured if they follow your instructions.
If you are sharing recipes, be sure to include a warning that some people could be allergic some of the ingredients. This is especially important if you are using nuts, peas, fruit and wheat products.
Avoid this line of thinking: "Oh, it's not a problem for me, so why should it be a problem for someone else?"
Food allergies can be serious, folks. Think swollen throat! Think skin rash! Think anaphylactic shock (I know someone who nearly died eating fish)!
Step 2: Is Fire Involved?
Remember, children visit this site, too. Many are fascinated by fire. Too many homes burn down every year due to children playing with this dangerous element. If you MUST include an Instructable with fire (I'd rather you didn't), it is your responsibility to focus on the dangers.
Make sure you include a way to put out the fire if it gets out of control.
Make sure you tell the readers to have another person nearby should the practicer of the Instructable get burned.
Do not light a flame in the house or near flammable objects.
Do not use fire in a "trick" or stunt. Not worth the risk!
Fire is a good tool. But it is a dangerous tool.
Step 3: Glass!
Glass is breakable. Many Instructables forget this. The tiniest shards of broken glass can get beneath the skin and in the eyes. Broken glass has very very sharp edges - sharper than you may think.
Folks, let's warn our readers of this potential. Don't assume that everyone knows the dangers of broken glass.
Sure, we all use glass for many different things, but I have seen too many injuries caused by carelessness.
Step 4: Vandalism and Pranks
While it may be fun for the perpetrator of the prank, remember, your actions may not be appreciated by the victim. Take a moment to put yourself in his or her place! Believe me, it's not fun having jokes played on you.
As for vandalism, respect the property of others and don't encourage others to do otherwise! We live in a society and for that society to work we need to follow the rules. I will never recommend an Instructable that urges people, especially children, to flout those rules.
Yes, I understand that some of you will make fun of me because it's not "cool" to follow the rules. Well, know this: So many people break the rules, that it takes someone with guts to follow them. Do you have guts?
Step 5: Things That Can Fall Apart/Unnecessary Speed
Since many Instructables require assembly, the probability exists that something someone builds will fall apart. This can cause a safety hazard when the invention is something someone rides or sits/stands on. Be sure to include a warning of the consequences should that invention fall apart while someone is on it.
And let's watch the speed, folks. Some of these "vehicles" can go very fast. Slow it down, and you'll get there. Speed, and you'll just get injured.
Step 6: Let's Make SAFETY a Part of Our Lives!
We can have fun AND we can be safe. These two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, we cannot have fun WITHOUT safety! Think about it. There you are, going about doing something carelessly - horsing around, "having fun" - and then you get hurt. It was fun up until then, wasn't it. How about now?
Replace carelessly with careFULLY and your fun will never be interupted by injury.
Thank you for your attention to safety.