Top tips for safer home improvements this Bank Holiday

02 May 2014

Electrical safety for the Bank Holiday weekend

Charity issues guidance to help reduce electrical accidents

  • Charity issues guidance to help reduce electrical accidents70 deaths and 350,000 injuries caused by electricity each year
  •  Home improvements bring the potential for electrical accidents but people often unaware of the dangers
  •  Half of all severe electric shocks are caused by DIY attempts
  •  70% of people don’t take proper precautions when using electrical equipment outdoors

Whilst home improvements, both indoors and out, are something of a Bank Holiday tradition, Electrical Safety First is urging people to get switched on to the dangers that such work can pose this weekend. Whether it’s finally getting around to putting up that shelf or giving the garden some attention, all home improvement work carries the risk of electric shock or electrocution that many are unaware of or simply ignore.

A survey conducted by Electrical Safety First found that half of all severe electric shocks are caused by DIY attempts, with the main errors including cutting through power cables, drilling into electrical installations and repairing electrical equipment that is still turned on. Meanwhile in the garden, up to 70% of people are putting themselves at risk by failing to taking the proper precautions when using electrical equipment outdoors and nearly a third of people have used electrical equipment when it is wet.

To help reduce the risks, Electrical Safety First has produced some short, simple guidance to ensure that home improvements are done safely:

  •  Have RCD protection. Both inside and outside, this potentially life-saving device cuts the power in the event of an electrical fault. Make sure one if fitted in the fusebox and where necessary use a plug-in RCD.
  •  Check the plug and cables of power and gardening tools for fraying, dirt or damage before use. If you see signs of damage, don’t use the equipment and get it repaired.
  •  Know the location of hidden cables behind the wall and any underground cables in the garden before beginning work. A common DIY error is accidentally drilling, nailing or screwing items in to hidden cables.
  •  Follow the manufacturer’s instruction s on any power tools or garden equipment carefully.

On these top tips, Emma Apter from Electrical Safety First said:
“Making our living space more luxurious is something we all strive for and Electrical Safety First wants to ensure that home improvements are done safely this Bank Holiday weekend. People often don’t realise how dangerous electricity can be yet it kills 70 and injures a further 350,000 each year. The risks are even greater when doing something like home improvements so by following these top tips people can keep themselves and their families’ safe, leaving the only potential shock of the weekend to be some fine weather”.