Someone once said, “You can’t please all the people all the time,” and those were wise words. I received a complaint from a reader about a tip we ran in a recent issue regarding
how to fix a flickering light bulb. No major surgery was recommended;
we only suggested prying up the metal tab in the socket with a
screwdriver for better contact with the bulb.
Then I heard the voicemail from the concerned reader who
prefaced his message with “you’ve probably gotten a thousand
phone calls already,” and then proceeded to inform us that we
neglected to mention: Unplug the lamp, first!
Well, we only got the one call, but nobody likes to hear a complaint, and I was worried our staff was remiss in its responsibility
to safely inform our readers about how-to tips. Then it occurred
to me that I learned not to stick objects into active electrical
sockets in kindergarten as, I assume, did most of our readers.
We target this magazine toward homeowners who are serious
about remodeling and repairing their homes, and we take certain
levels of experience and common sense for granted among the
We certainly want to stress safety, but we also cover a lot of
potentially dangerous subject matter, such as power tool usage.
Any power tool owner can attest to the lengthy safety precautions
stated in every owner’s manual. I suppose the EHT staff would be
more responsible purveyors of information if we include a safety
sidebar with every mention of a power tool. I’m sure it would relax
some lawyers somewhere, but my guess is our readers already
know well the basic safety precautions associated with tool usage,
or lamp usage for that matter.
I certainly don’t mean to be dismissive of our caller’s critique.
Our staff strives to help the DIY homeowner to the best of our
abilities, and we encourage you to always
research your home projects independently,
make yourselves aware of all safety implica-
tions and proceed in a responsible manner.
We want to inform our readers, but we also
want to avoid being pedantic or uninterest-
ing, and sometimes that’s a balancing act.
Thanks for reading,
Mark H. Gamble
Trent R. Boozer
Extreme How-To is published by
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