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DIY safety tips

Stay D.I.Y S.A.F.E

Starting a new DIY adventure is always exciting, but please follow these simple steps to help you stay safe at the same time:

General good practice

    • Avoid wearing loose fitting clothing or jewellery that could get caught
    • We know how much you want to get the job done but take your time and don't rush.
    • Ensure your workplace is clean and well organised
    • If you're working inside, make sure the room is well ventilated.
    • When the job's complete (congratulations!), make sure you store your tools away safely and securely.
    • Use ladders with care. Make sure A-frame ladders are always locked in the open position, and that they're placed on a stable, level surface. If you're leaning a ladder against a vertical surface, make sure there's a 1ft spread at the base for every 4ft of height. Don't use aluminum ladders near electrical wires.

Safety equipment

    • Always wear the right safety gear - even if it's not quite the look you had in mind! If you're using spray paint or there's lots of dust around, make sure you wear safety goggles, gloves, and a dust mask.
    • If you're removing old paint and are unsure whether it's lead-based, always seek advice from a reputable painter and decorator on how to dispose of it.
    • Always make sure you have a well-stocked first aid kit nearby. Where possible, ask someone you trust to help, just in case anything happens.

Safety using tools

    • Make sure you're familiar with the tools for the job, especially if they're electrical. Drills in particular should be switched off and unplugged before fitting parts, and the chuck key removed before it's turned on.
    • Try and cut away from your body when using a knife
    • Keep your tools in good working order - sharp blades are safer than blunt ones
    • Always ensure you have the right tools for the right job

Electrical and plumbing safety

    • No matter how much of a DIY Guru you think you are, electrical work must be carried out by a professional at all times and plumbing work needs to be certifiable by a professional. In doubt? Just call a professional.
    • Always make sure your water supply is turned off when working on plumbing by switching off your appliance's isolator valve or your stopcock and drain down appliances once the supply has been switched off.

Gas safety

    • Only use a Gas Safe registered engineer to fit, fix or service gas appliances.
    • Always check your engineer's Gas Safe Register card
    • Gas appliances should be regularly serviced and safety checked annually
    • Rent your home? Your landlord has to have the gas appliances safety checked and serviced once a year by law. Make sure they provide you with a copy of the Landlord's Gas Safety Record.
    • Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas and cannot be seen or smelt. The 6 main signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headaches, nausea, dizziness, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness. Carbon monoxide alarms in your home are a great way of detecting any poisonous gas.