Younger generations embracing DIY, but many lack the know-how to tackle electrical jobs

24 May 2016


People under 35 are taking on do-it-yourself (DIY) projects more than three times as often as older generations, according to new research from Electrical Safety First, a leading UK consumer safety charity. This means people under 35 are undertaking DIY on average 56 times a year, whereas 35 and overs are doing this just 16 times a year.i

Nearly one in five people under the age of 35 said they view DIY as a creative outlet, as opposed to only 10% of people aged 35 and older,ii and what was considered ‘DIY’ ranged from changing a light fitting or assembling furniture, right up to rewiring a house. More than 30% of the younger group said they looked for DIY ideas on social media sites such as Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube.iii

Although one in six under 35s (18%) said they would feel confident to change a light fitting, against one in seven over 35s (14%), when it came to basic electrical DIY tasks, the under 35s reported being less confident than their elders. Only just over a quarter (27%) reported they could rewire a plug, whilst two-thirds of the over 35 age group (65%) were confident in changing a plug on their own.iv

Worryingly, Electrical Safety First found that many people would think about attempting risky electrical DIY projects, when they should be leaving it to the experts. Nearly half (48%) of under 35s would consider taking on electrical DIY themselves, compared to over one third (37%) of adults aged 35 or over.v

Every year around 70 people die and over 350,000 are seriously injured by electrical accidents in the In a survey of registered electricians, a third had reported fixing botched DIY that had caused electric shocks,vii with 15% stating that a DIY job had caused an electrical fire.viii

To highlight these potential risks, Electrical Safety First – with the help of Sophie Robinson, interior stylist and TV personality – is launching a new campaign DIY Nation.

Emma Apter, Head of Communications for Electrical Safety First:

“While online blogs and sites such as Pinterest and YouTube are fantastic resources, they won’t give you the knowledge or experience to carry out more complicated tasks. If in doubt when it comes to DIY, get a registered electrician in – it could not only save you a lot of time and money in the long run, but could also avoid a serious electrical accident.”

Sophie Robinson, TV celebrity and interior design specialist:

“I love being creative – taking on a home project and putting my own stamp on it. The wide variety of inspiration to be found is fantastic – especially thanks to blogs, Pinterest and other social media outlets. However, I know if I have to look up the technical aspects of a DIY project, I should leave it to an expert.”

Sophie Robinson, interior stylist has these five tips for a DIY weekend:

  1. Get organised with your shopping list and shop before the weekend. You can waste hours by shopping , so make sure you have all the materials you need before you start your project
  2. Never let you painting equipment dry out. I wrap my brushes in Cling film and put rollers in plastic bags, so I don’t have to wash them in between coats. Put a plastic bag over your paint roller tray so you don’t have to wash it out and easily dispose of the leftover paint
  3. Consider de-cluttering the room of stuff that might get in your way. Doing a bit of decorating is always a good chance to get rid of some things you ultimately don’t need as well
  4. Updating your lighting is a great way to transform a space although consider calling in a registered electrician to change light fittings or rewire lamps.
  5. Update the look of your home by creating fresh new scatter cushion covers. Buy a bold patterned remnant fabric, and opt for a simple envelop back cushion design, and you can make a new set in a jiffy!

For more interesting statistics about the generational differences between DIYers, our infographic is available here. Sophie Robinson has created a video of five short DIY demonstrations perfect for this Bank Holiday weekend. Images of the demonstration are available for download here and the video is available on Sophie’s YouTube channel. For more information on to stay safe while undertaking DIY visit or search the hashtag #DIYNation


For more information please contact:

Muireann Kirby T: 020 3463 5105 E:
Christina Copp T: 020 3463 5129 E:

Editors’ Notes

  • Electrical Safety First is a UK Charity dedicated to reducing and preventing damage, injuries and death caused by electricity. More information can be found at
  • Censuswide interviewed a random sample of 2,000 UK adults, 1,000 aged 34 or younger and 1,000 aged 35 and older from its online panel between 20-25 April 2016. Surveys were conducted across the United Kingdom and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults.
  • Electrical Safety First conducted research using Survey Monkey and sent it to registered electricians across the United Kingdom. 957 responses were received 20/03/2016-18/04/2016
  • i Censuswide research, a mean time of 4.71 times per month reported by under 35 year olds, and 1.37 times per month reported by over 35 years olds, respectively, conducted 20/04/2016-25/04/2016

ii Censuswide research, 158 of 869 under 35 year olds, and 95 of 818 over 35 year olds respectively, conducted 20/04/2016-25/04/2016
iii Censuswide research, 312 of 1,000 under 35 years, conducted 20/04/2016-25/04/2016
iv Censuswide research, 365 of 1,000 under 35 years and 456 of 1,000 over 35 respectively, conducted 20/04/2016-25/04/2016
v Censuswide research, only 52% said they’d call an electrician to do the job, conducted 20/04/2016-25/04/2016
vi Electrical Safety First Core Data Set. Data supplied by the Department for Communities and Local Government, 15/02/2012
vii Electricians survey, 260 of 821, conducted 20/03/2016-18/04/2016
viii Electricians’ survey, 123 of 821, conducted 20/03/2016-18/04/2016