Please don't let a D-I-Y disaster wreck Easter

Thu 2 Apr, 2015

Please don’t let a do-it-yourself disaster wreck your Easter break. 

That’s the message from Richard Priest, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service’s community safety manager, at one of the times of year most associated with D-I-Y projects and spring cleaning.

Richard said: “Be extremely careful if you are about to use an electrical appliance that has been stored in a garage or shed over the winter, where it may have become damp, or if you are considering using anything powered by gas.

“It’s also well worth taking advice from the experts if you are tackling something for the first time. Many DIY superstores offer such a service.”

Richard’s other tips for avoiding a DIY fire or injury are:

  • Switch off electrical tools at the mains before making checks or repairs.
  • Always uncoil electrical extension cables fully. Never use multi-way adaptors when working with high amperage tools.
  • If you have a separate working area such as a garage or workshop, don't allow sawdust, oily rags and other hazards to mount up.
  • Use non-flammable materials or liquids wherever possible. If you have to store flammable liquids, keep them in small, strong, labelled containers with screw tops. Plastic containers other than approved ones should not be used.
  • Equip your workshop sensibly, and don't smoke in it. Any heaters should be wall mounted.
  • Don't use a naked bulb - use a proper inspection lamp.
  • Don't use makeshift wiring extensions or adaptors.
  • Use properly installed sockets for electrical tools – an RCD (residual current device) should be used.
  • When using a blowtorch, never leave it unattended. Have an extinguisher or a bucket of water standing by.
  • Check you have the correct tools for the job.
  • Remove any obstructions from your workplace and make sure children and pets are safe.
  • Always get gas appliances repaired by an approved contractor.
  • Open windows and doors for ventilation when using adhesives and flammable liquids, always making sure that no naked flames or power tools are close by.