Before they became popular, the only place you could find cooking or home improvement Do It Yourself shows was on Public Broadcasting channels. They were produced with small budgets, single camera, no computer generated graphics, straight to the point, lots of explaining and very much like a lecture. Now there are not only hundreds of shows available but networks dedicated to DIY and it has become a booming business. The shows are great for generating new ideas by featuring the latest styles, equipment, materials, techniques, colors and decor while demonstrating tiling a backsplash to a complete home remodel.
What really burns my butt is that some of these home improvement DIY shows take a juvenile approach to safety, if that much effort at all. In fact safety is not even a consideration in some shows as they are too busy showcasing new products while the host goofs around with the homeowners and horse play ensues, reinforcing bad and dangerous safety habits to the audience. I understand it’s tough to explain about what you are doing during a remodel job while wearing a dust mask, and it’s just not cool looking either. The audience needs to be told that there are dangerous toxins in that dust when your tearing up a room and that’s why you need to wear a dust mask. Be honest and tell them, you know wearing a dust mask makes me look like a dork, so I’ve instead opted not to wear one and instead inhale the silica particles but you shouldn’t do that at home.
As more an more home improvement shows are developed, produced and aired, safety continues to take a back seat. That’s because Safety is not perceived as glamorous, or can be cute and funny and is hard to sell. Which is not true as the networks are missing a marketing opportunity with the big home stores with PSAs on safety. A few Saturday mornings ago, I watched a new show on the HGTV network called “Building small live anywhere” where a husband and wife team help people find and build their dream home. The contractor half of the team, Todd Davis may be a great contractor but doesn’t demonstrate it when it comes to safety, in fact he’s clueless. During the demolition of a kitchen and later a bathroom, he thought it was professional to demolish the counters by jumping up and down on them like a 2 year old throwing a tantrum. I can only hope there is an outtake somewhere of him falling on his ass as this is just plain immature and dangerous behavior. He also didn’t bother to wear a dust mask during demo which you at home should do unless you want to develop COPD 20 years from now.
DIY shows are good, they really do help people but the networks need to take a proactive approach and be more responsible to reflect the safety aspects of any project and do more to demonstrate those safe techniques. At the very least since they love to display messages at the bottom of the T.V. screen about the next or new show why not have disclaimers instead like,Todd Davis is hell bent on killing himself so please do not attempt this at home.
As it is, there is going to be many husbands and wives this weekend, working or arguing through their home improvement projects. It would be very nice if DIY and HGTV networks could help reduce the number of weekend trips to the E.R and future lung diseases years from now by explaining and demonstrating proper safety precautions and Personal Protective Equipment needed, like safety goggles, dust mask, gloves and hearing protection when doing a home improvement project.
What do you think? Is it their responsibility to talk and walk safety when demonstrating home improvement projects?