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How do I child-proof my shop?

Q:

I’m leaving on a trip and I’m worried that my kids might hurt themselves playing in the shop. Could you give me some suggestions for quickly securing my garage shop?
—Pat Smith, Surry, Va.

A:

Here are a few tips for child-proofing your shop, Pat. First, clean up. Put away all portable power tools that can be stored and tidy up the floor to remove any tripping hazards. Next, unplug all power tools and secure the plugs. The simplest way to do this is with small, inexpensive luggage locks through the plug, shown above. Finally, remove all blades, bits, and knives from tools and store them in locked cabinets.

And have a quick talk reminding your family to use caution in the garage. When you return from your trip, follow through with a more thorough shop safety education. Who knows? What starts as a lecture in woodworking safety might become a family hobby.

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