Top Safety Tips for your Home

There are some jobs that are quite appropriate for the average DIYer to undertake and some which should be left to professionals. To avoid a DIY disaster – which in the worst case could actually result in death! – the trick is to learn how to tell what is possible from what is not. Wiring a plug – fine. Wiring a house – call the professionals! It isn’t all about electricity and plumbing, though. A house and its maintenance can be a tricky place to be without basic safety precautions.

Tip # 1 – Climbing ladders

If you need to work at a height there are various precautions you should take first. If possible, never go up a ladder when you are working alone. Although the old chestnut of having someone standing on the bottom rung need not be strictly adhered to, it is unwise to climb when there is no one there to call an ambulance if you do happen to fall. Although this may sound like an old joke, time is always of the essence in any case of falling from a height, so lying there waiting for someone to come can literally make a bad accident a fatal one. To avoid falls completely, always use the right ladder. Where possible use two ladders and a plank to stand on – this is much safer and is actually quicker too, if you are painting a ceiling or wall, because you can move about.

Tip #2 – Fitting lighting

If there is any major wiring to do, it is better by far to call an electrician. If it is simply a matter of replacing one light fitment for another that should be within the capabilities of the average DIYer, but it is always important to make sure that the fitting is suitable for where it will be used. This applies doubly to bathroom and kitchen light fittings, where they will be subject to steam or even splashes of water. When you buy the fitment you will find the recommended locations on the packaging, but if you are in any doubt, ask when you buy. Water and electricity certainly do not mix.

Tip #3 – Putting up pictures

Most people would say that putting up a picture is hardly fraught with danger but there are people maimed or dead who wish they had taken some basic precautions first. Many newer houses have been built in modules and these have wiring tapped onto the back of wall panels in a sometimes rather random pattern. Instead of following a coherent path from light fittings and sockets they could be anywhere. To avoid drilling directly into a live wire, a cheap and simple gadget available in any DIY store should be used to detect where wiring is located. This is especially important in the kitchen or bathroom – remember; electricity and water really don’t mix!

Tip #4 – General tips on preventing trips and slips

The best tip for safety around the house for every day, not just when undertaking maintenance work is; keep your eyes open. If everyone in the house promises to put it back if they get it out; close a door if they opened it; mop it up if they spilt it; mend it if they broke it and generally look out for each other, every home would be a much safer place. Most accidents happen in the home and of these, most can be avoided. If an elderly person lives in your home, you should take extra care to avoid trailing leads or any ill-lit hazards such as steps or slippery floors. This doesn’t mean you have to live in an area covered in hi-vis tape; it just means thinking twice about every potential hazard and putting it right first, not after the accident has happened.