Its not difficult to realise that there is an element of danger when it comes to toy testing! At a lab they have all sorts of safety measures in place, but at home we’re probably a bit more relaxed in some ways. This isn’t a blog to scare you – its very easy to test toys at home safely, but just to make you aware.
To keep yourself safe, always have a second pair of hands for testing. An extra person can make all the difference.
The danger: FIRE!
Setting light to your toys is a love/hate thing for some of you, some of you find the inner pyromaniac and enjoy it! Its so important to think about safety when testing at home.
Many a time I’ve tested the fire tests in my kitchen, I’ve heard of bathrooms too, and the obvious reason being that both are close to water. The flame tests need to be done in a windless environment, so shelter is pretty important, but safety first, if you can choose an outer building like a garage or sheltered place, it would be safer than a furnished house.
Back to the water – have something close to put the fire out with, easiest way being a bucket/washing up bowl or container of water, to lower the toy into when you have recorded the spread enough to calculate the burn rate. A fire extinguisher would be a good addition to your kit just in case.
Do not attempt to hold the item being tested! find a way to hang it or hold it using fire safe utensils such as tongs(remember metal conducts and can get hot too!) the flame might spread faster than you’d expect.
Read up on the NHS website on how to tackle burns and scalds and have first aid kit to hand.
The Danger: Weights!
Although this seems like the lesser of the two evils, its important to take care of your back when using weights. 7-9kgs+ is probably heavier than you think, and holding it in one position for a period of time (even if it is only a few seconds) could do damage to your back. To prevent this, securely hanging up your item using the upper G-clamp/S hook is possibly the safer option(on something sturdy like a ladder) as well as adding the weight slowly piece by piece, rather than lifting it all to suspend it. Have something beneath to catch it (and not your toes!) just in case it fails.
If you need to hold it rather than hang it, check out safe lifting tips, don’t lift higher than needed to above the floor, and mind your feet in case the seam breaks.
Mind your eyes for pinging snaps or buttons if you’re testing them!
This list is not exhaustive..but hopefully it has given you food for thought on how to keep yourself safe.
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