Don't have a DIY disaster

21 August 2007

Electrical DIY

August Bank Holiday weekend is a popular time to catch up on DIY, gardening and general housekeeping jobs around the home. With this surge in activity, the Electrical Safety Council is urging the public to take care and use corded electrical power tools sensibly this weekend.

An RCD, is a life-saving device that automatically cuts off the electricity supply when a fault is detected and is particularly important when using electricity outside. The Electrical Safety Council recommends that an RCD is always used with corded electrical equipment. RCDs cost under £10 and are available from most DIY and home improvement stores.

But a survey by the Electrical Safety Council reveals that 61% of people don't know what an RCD is. And of the people that are aware of this device only 47% use one with electrical garden tools and 21% with other corded electrical tools such as drills.

So whether you're cleaning the decking, trimming the hedge, putting up trellis or mowing the lawn follow this simple advice from the Electrical Safety Council before switching on:

  • Always use an RCD – it could save your life.
  • Check cables and connections for fraying, dirt and damage before use.
  • Check the equipment has been stored safely - ensure it hasn't been damaged by rainwater if it's been stored in a leaky shed.
  • Do not work with electrical tools in wet conditions.
  • Protect your feet – wear sensible shoes not sandals or flip-flops.
  • Always switch off the electricity supply before cleaning, adjusting or checking electrical equipment.
  • Do not try to repair electrical equipment or installations yourself.
  • Always buy electrical equipment from a reputable manufacturer – look for the BEAB approved mark or CE safety symbol.
  • Store electrical equipment in a dry place and safely out of reach of children.

At least 30 people are killed and 4000 injured due to unsafe electrics each year, the Electrical Safety Council is campaigning to improve safety and cut down electrical accidents in the home.

Phil Buckle, Director of the Electrical Safety Council comments, "The public have become far too relaxed about using electrical equipment. Doing simple checks and taking the proper safety precautions should be the norm. Using an RCD every time you use a corded power tool could potentially save someone's life."

For further information contact