While the internet has become an invaluable resource for the self-helpers and people who desire to cry ‘I can do this‘; when you research or receive advice, it’s often worth applying a little common sense and thinking before diving in with both feet.
If you’re looking to fit a new door, change the locks, repair a plastered wall or stop you toilet cistern from hissing (for example) then it’s almost as simple and straightforward as to follow the web page or video from your browser. But when it comes to a subject that involves tinkering with electricity and lives wires then I have always believed that we should stop and carefully assess before getting started.
Should a piece of wood hit you on the head, you’ll develop a lump, you may even suffer a concussion but you’ll almost certainly recover. Spilled water can be mopped up; walls can be painted over. But when you’re working with electrics, there isn’t always going to be a second chance.
I am writing this post to support and raise awareness of a campaign (Don’t Die For DIY) and I’d like to thank Gareth for bringing it my attention so that I can share it with you.
In my own heart, I’m a carpenter. More recently, I’m a furniture maker but the fact is that I am clueless with electrics when it comes to anything beyond changing or fitting a 3-pin plug. There are many installations (and disconnections) that I would never attempt, even if I was able to find an appropriate walkthrough online.
An old friend of mine is a fully qualified electrician and a few months ago, he came round to carry out several jobs on the flat within which I currently live. He has a good decade of experience under his belt; he is trustworthy and qualified and yet, he’s received several electric shocks in his time. I asked him plainly whether it’s a sensation you ‘get used to‘ but, of course, that’s nonsense. Each time you’re at risk of an electric shock, you’re equally at risk of an electrocution. Even if you were to dodge the bullet on one occasion, there’s a risk your actions could hurt someone else.
I feel we’re quite fortunate, here in the UK, in that legislation for Part P [I’m sure some are groaning as they read this] was passed several years ago, prohibiting home-owners from carrying out their own electrical repairs and amendments without, at the very least, having the work checked and signed off by a registered electrician (this is my understanding at its most basic). But I’m still unsure as to how many people are fully aware of this change in the law and, even for those who have noticed; how many genuinely abide by it?
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I swear never to offer electrical advice on this blog and I’d like to encourage you to help spread the word about this campaign from Electrical Safety First.
Find a Registered Competent Electrican near you.Explained: Part P of the Building Regulations
Please take a look at the infographic below.
Source: DIY infographic from Electrical Safety First.
Thank you for reading.