Saturday, 31 August 2013


  1. DIY errors cause half of all serious electric shocks in UK homes
  2. Brits botching simple tasks and relying on YouTube to undertake major DIY work
  3. Handy Andy joins the Electrical Safety Council’s call for ‘Dive in DIYers’ to think safety
  4. Find a local registered electrician by searching the Electrical Safety Register

A study by the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) finds blundering DIYers across the UK are risking their lives and facing costly repairs through misplaced confidence in small jobs and even ‘having a go’ at tasks best left to the professionals.

The UK charity surveyed consumers and electricians and found that almost half of all severe electric shocks   are caused by DIY attempts, with people confessing to such errors as cutting through power leads, drilling into wiring in walls and repairing electrical items that are still switched on.

Electricians say they are spending an increasing amount of time repairing such blunders and are concerned that ‘Dive-in DIYers’ are endangering themselves and their families. This is a serious concern – someone dies as a result of an electrical accident in their home every week in the UK, and electricity is the cause of 350,000 serious injuries each year, as well as half of all house fires.

As well as tackling simple tasks with enthusiasm, worryingly many Dive-in DIYers are also taking on the big jobs – one in five  people with no electrical training say they are confident to try installing new lights in their homes and one in ten  say they’d happily install new wiring.

The overconfidence partly comes from relying on the advice of unqualified friends or family (half  of those surveyed said they do this) or seeking help online where the advice might not be appropriate – two fifths of people say they use Google to get tips  and the same number  use online video tutorials, such as on YouTube.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, many blunderers are men who step up to the challenge through a mixture of compulsion and bravado - two fifths of men  say they feel a responsibility to do electrical and DIY jobs, and almost half of all men  are likely to try a job themselves or ask a mate, before seeking help from a professional.

More than half of UK homes, 13 million, don’t have Residual Current Device (RCD) protection in their fusebox. This important device can save lives by cutting power in the event of a fault or surge. The ESC advises anyone planning to do DIY to ensure they have RCD protection in the fusebox or use a plug-in RCD when working with power tools.

For those who are unsure about how to do electrical DIY, the ESC advises they get professional advice.

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