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Tips for Safely Working in the Attic


This time of year, spending time in your unconditioned attic can quickly lead to dehydration and heat exhaustion. The materials and obstacles in this unfinished space pose dangers too, like head trauma, trip and fall injuries, exposure to insulation and electrical shocks.

For your safety when working in the attic, stay hydrated, wear goggles, head protection and a respirator mask. You should also take these steps to make the space safer:


If there's a storage area, HVAC or other equipment that you need to access, build walkways to make it easier and safer to do so. Create a direct path to these areas and move any potential obstacles out of the way. Then, put down two or three 1x4s side by side to form a walkway. Finally, screw or nail the ends of each board to the floor joists so they can't slip or wobble.


Thoroughly scan the space for potential shock hazards, like open junction boxes, unsecured wiring hidden beneath insulation, or any gnawed or frayed wiring. If you find any of these or other electrical issues, have them fixed right away by a licensed electrician.


If you just have one or two single-bulb fixtures in place, have an electrician add more and locate them where they illuminate storage areas or installed equipment. Additionally, leave a long extension cord and portable work light near the access hatch so you can reach it easily when necessary.


Now that the outdoor temperatures are starting to climb, your attic can reach 120 degrees or more by mid-afternoon. To avoid the risk of overheating, make sure you take care of any attic chores early in the day. When you book an equipment maintenance appointment, schedule it prior to 9 a.m., so your technician can finish before the space becomes too warm.

For more advice about working safely in the attic, contact us at Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical. You can also visit our website for in-depth information on most HVAC topics or just give us a call at (408) 868-5500.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas of California about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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