Electrical DIY remains a big danger in the UK with electricity killing and injuring 1000’s of people each year Many people die needlessly by taking dangerous risks with electricity which could have been dealt with safely by a qualified and registered electrician.
What is electrical DIY?
Electrical DIY by it’s very name can mean anything from changing a socket to bigger, riskier jobs such as rewiring parts of your home. Most electrical work in your home is subject to Part P regulations which means that it is illegal to carry out work in your home without being Part P registered.
As a general rule, you can carry out basic electrical jobs like changing your plug sockets for like for like, however if you are considering electrical work in your home, we recommend that you do not attempt the work yourself. Here at Fulcher Edwards we see every week the problems that DIY work causes. Even a simple job can cause damage to the wiring within your home which would lead to expensive repair work and this alone could become more costly than a qualified and registered electrician doing the job in the first place!
The dangers of DIY
DIY electrical work worries us for several reasons. Firstly it’s the safety aspect. Many people assume that just because the lights are working that everything must be ok. In many cases this is not the case. Electrical fire is currently the biggest cause of house fires in the UK, and in many cases it is bad electrics that are the cause. DIY electrical work is often blamed for these fires because of the way the fires begin.
A common cause of electrical fire is the overheating of cable where the wrong sized cable has been used. Cable has also been positioned incorrectly and the heat from it can cause fire in lofts, joists and inside walls.
The other concern is the lack of testing that takes place beforehand. Work carried out by an electrician is tested to ensure it is safe before it is switched on. There is no way of knowing if DIY electrical work is safe. DIY or bad electrical work doesn’t always kill you instantly either. It can be a number of years before the result of bad electrics catches up with you, and the fact of the matter is you don’t know when that will be.
Are you worried about DIY electrical work you have done?
The first thing to know is you are not alone and we won’t preach to you about how dangerous it is! As electricians in Hertfordshire we rectify DIY jobs on a daily basis and ensure your property is left electrically safe.
Of course it can be difficult to know exactly what you have done electrically over the years, so a good starting point is for a qualified and registered electrician to come and carry out an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) which will identify any areas in your home which are an electrical risk.
As a householder, you will then be making an informed decision about repairing DIY electrical work.
If you get into difficulty with DIY work
Stop working immediately and contact a qualified and registered electrician. It is better to do this sooner rather than later as electrical damage can be costly to repair if it is badly damaged. Never attempt to make ‘bodge’ repairs just to get the lights back on. This will leave you and your family at risk of electrical fire, injury or worse.
An electrician will inspect the work, and carry out the necessary remedial works to ensure your home is electrically safe.