Using hot melt glue is quick and simple, but it can be dangerous if not handled with caution. The glue can damage surfaces and burn the skin. As with any electrical appliance, the hot glue gun itself is potentially dangerous if mishandled. You must consider safety when using hot melt glue. Here are four safety tips to be aware of when working with hot melt glue.
1. Protect Your Skin
Hot melt glue melts at temperatures ranging from 250 degrees F to 420 degrees F. Third degree skin burns occur at temperatures as low as 160 degrees F. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned professional, skin protection is a necessity. The hot melt glue and the hot glue gun both have the potential to burn the skin. To prevent needless burns, always wear gloves when working with hot melt glue.
2. Refrain from Working around Water
Do not work with hot melt glue in the proximity of water. Water conducts electricity, and a hot glue gun is an electrical appliance that can result in electrocution if used recklessly. One simple slip up can lead to serious injuries. This warning applies equally to wet hands. Make sure your hands are dry when using a hot glue gun. Be safety-conscious. Do not use your hot glue gun anywhere there is a possibility it can make contact with water.
3. Monitor Children and Pets
Children and pets are naturally curious. In an instant, they can be hurt by hot melt glue and the hot glue gun if left unattended. If a child is the one working with the hot melt glue, make sure the child has adult supervision. Teach the child how to handle a hot glue gun safely and what steps to take in case of an accidental burn. Cats and dogs can also easily burn their sensitive noses while investigating a hot glue gun; do not work with hot melt glue in their presence. Animals are impulsive, so do not take a change that could lead to their injury.
4. Put It Away
It is easy to be distracted and simply forget about the hot glue gun once the project is complete. Do not allow this to happen to you. When you finish your project, unplug your hot glue gun, allow it to cool and put it away. If you leave it on, the glue will continue to melt. Hot melt glue can damage the surface with which it comes in contact—depending upon the surface. Additionally, leaving a hot glue gun on while unattended is a fire hazard. A simple craft or repair project could lead to a house fire if the hot glue gun is on for hours unchecked. To avoid these dangers, put it away.
Admittedly, hot melt glue is a useful and convenient tool for craft and repair projects, but you must handle it appropriately. Treat it as a skilled carpenter would treat his power tools—with respect and due regard for safety. By doing so, you will enjoy the ease and convenience of using hot melt glue without any regrets.