updated 5/3/2011 8:16:13 AM ET 2011-05-03T12:16:13

ST. PAUL, Minn., May 3, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- More than 43 million active DIYers will take on 57 million home improvement projects this year1. From basic lawn care to routine home maintenance, DIY activity has increased and so have project-related injuries.

"It’s a fact that more and more homeowners are doing more things around their homes. With people looking for ways to save, there’s been a rebirth in DIY activity," said Lou Manfredini, host of HouseSmarts TV and home improvement contributor on NBC’s The Today Show.  "I think that’s great, but do-it-yourselfers also need to keep an eye on safety. Proper protection is the key to getting the job done right and staying in one piece, because doing it right means doing it safely."

Injuries from even the most routine tasks like mowing the lawn and other outdoor projects are more common than you may think--with one in five people reporting some type of injury during a DIY activity and more than half (54%) of DIYers admitting they’ve been known to neglect certain safety precautions2.

To help DIYers learn how to do it safely, 3M TEKK Protection Brand is kicking off a safety advocacy campaign to educate consumers and remind DIY enthusiasts to be responsible when taking on common DIY projects. Some of today’s most popular home improvement projects include painting and remodeling, as well as gardening and outdoor projects.   

By adopting a few simple safety habits, do-it-yourselfers can keep both their homes and themselves in tip top shape all year round.

"When you say the word "habit" to people, they will conclude it’s a bad thing," said Manfredini. "But using eye, respiratory, and hearing protection while working around your home is a habit we all need to start."

Manfredini offers these tips for staying safe when working around your home. 

Lawn and Garden Safety 101

Lawn work can be very rewarding especially if you are using the right tools.

  • If you cut and trim your own lawn, make sure you always wear eye protection like 3M TEKK Protection Safety glasses. Debris and dust can fly all over so protecting your eyes is critical. 
  • Power equipment such as a leaf blower or weed whipper can exceed sound levels higher than 85 decibels. These sound levels can damage your hearing and lead to self induced hearing loss, which is 100 percent preventable with the right hearing protection. Hearing protection like the 3M TEKK Digital WorkTunes will cut down on outside noise and even give you a chance to listen to music as you work.

To keep a green lawn you need to apply fertilizer with a good quality lawn spreader. Many of the most effective products on the market are chemical blends that can create dust when applied to your lawn.

  • Eye and respiratory protection against dust and debris is very important. Choose a snug fitting respirator to wear on your face like the 3M TEKK Protection Sanding and Fiberglass Valved Respirator to keep those airborne particles out of your lungs.
  • If you’re using weed killers or liquid fertilizers that require spraying, consider using eye protection, gloves and a dual cartridge respirator such as the 3M TEKK Protection Household Multi-Purpose Respirator to provide relief from vapors.

From Painting to Power Tools, Safety Does It

Almost all interior paint these days is either low VOC or no VOC, which means it’s less harmful to breath. But, it still stings when you get it in your eyes especially if you are painting a ceiling.

  • The new entire line of 3M TEKK Protection Safety Glasses in addition to 3M TEKK Protection paint gloves and coveralls will have you painting quickly and safely throughout the entire project.
  • If you are sensitive to odors, a mask makes sense. The 3M TEKK Protection Paint Odor Valved Respirator is very comfortable to wear and designed for work that involves exposure to latex paints, stains and solvents.

Power tools can make quick work of just about any project around your home. But, using them safely is critical.

  • Familiarize yourself with how the tool operates -- the best way to grip, cutting direction, blade replacement and where and how to stand when using the tool.
  • Protect your eyes whether you’re working inside or outdoors. Cutting tools can lift sawdust and chips of wood into the air and while you are keeping your eye on the line you want to cut, make sure you protect your eyes too. The 3M TEKK Protection Eyewear line has clear, tinted and polarized eyewear lens specifically designed to protect you regardless of where you working.

Save Money and Energy the Safe Way

Adding insulation to your attic is one of the best ways to lower your energy bills. And if you have the desire, this is something you can do yourself.

  • It is very important that you wear a long sleeve shirt, gloves, eye protection and a high quality respirator. The 3M TEKK Protection Respiratory product line offers a technology called the "Cool Flow Valve" that makes it easy to breathe and helps to keep you cool. Trust me you will get warm installing insulation in your attic.

The 3M TEKK Protection Product Line

The 3M TEKK Protection Product Line showcases 3M’s continued commitment to offering a complete line of safety products with superior comfort, features and performance and investing in innovation for future products.

All 3M TEKK Protection Safety Eyewear Products are designed for comfort and performance, with modern and stylish eyewear designs. In addition, many lenses include an anti-scratch coating to withstand rigorous use. 3M TEKK Protection Forceflex Safety Eyewear offers patented technology in bendable, flexible frames that can withstand tough treatment and fit a variety of face shapes.

3M TEKK Protection Respiratory Products include a line of NIOSH-approved respirators designed for exceptional comfort, durability and ease of use. 3M’s unique patented Cool Flow Valve technology allows for easy exhalation and heat reduction.

3M TEKK Protection Hearing Protection line offers a full line of earmuffs, reusable and disposable earplugs that have been subjected to rigid testing, boast high noise reduction ratings, are comfortable, and can be used to protect against potentially damaging noise of power tools, lawn mowers, snowmobiles and other motor sports. 3M TEKK Protection Digital WorkTunes offers the complete package with digital AM/FM radio tuning as well as iPod and MP3 compatibility, so you can enjoy your home improvement projects safely in the workshop or in the yard. 

3M TEKK Protection Products can be found at home improvement and hardware stores across the U.S. For more information, visit www.3MTEKK.com .

Video of Lou Manfredini's DIY Safety Tips and additional media materials available at www.internetvideorelease.com/diy.

About Lou Manfredini

Lou Manfredini has been a professional homebuilder and remodeler for more than 25 years. Manfredini began his media career when WGN-AM Radio 720 Chicago launched his idea of a home improvement call-in radio show. Today, 15 years later the show, Ask Mr. Fix-It, is the number one Saturday morning radio program in Chicago. Manfredini also hosts and co-produces a nationally syndicated television and radio show called HouseSmarts and radio segments called House Smarts Minutes. He is a regular contributor to NBC’s Today Show and has authored five successful home improvement books for homeowner’s who want to understand how their homes work.

About 3M

3M captures the spark of new ideas and transforms them into thousands of ingenious products. Our culture of creative collaboration inspires a never-ending stream of powerful technologies that make life better. 3M is the innovation company that never stops inventing. With $27 billion in sales, 3M employs about 80,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 65 countries. For more information, visit www.3M.com or follow @3MNews on Twitter.

1Source: HIRI/HIS Global Insight: 2010 Reference Guide for the Home Improvement Market, February 2010.

2Home Safety Council - DIY Survey, August 2010

iPod is a trademark of Apple Inc.

3M, TEKK Protection, Forceflex, Cool Flow and WorkTunes are trademarks of 3M. [C] 2011

CONTACT: Kaitlin Roach, Cohn & Wolfe              3M Public Relations & Corporate Communications
         (212) 798-9765                           3M Center, Building 225-1S-15
         kaitlin.roach@cohnwolfe.com              St. Paul, MN 55144-1000
         
         or        
         
         Robert Brittain, 3M
         (651) 733-7034

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