With the bank holiday just around the corner, Electrical Safety First have conducted research with nearly 1,000 electricians, trying to find out their experiences fixing DIY projects.
A third had seen electric shocks caused by botched DIY, with 15% reporting that it had caused an electrical fire.
Every year around 70 people die and over 350,000 are seriously injured by electrical accidents in the home.
The most common mistakes that people make when attempting to undertake DIY tasks include cutting through power leads, drilling into wiring and repairing electrical items while they’re still switched on.
The charity found people under the age of 35 are taking on DIY projects at least three times more often than people over 35, yet many are taking on projects that should be left to experts.
Despite just a third of under 35s reporting that they could change a light fitting (and just over a quarter reporting that they could wire a plug), nearly half would consider taking on electrical DIY themselves, compared to 37% of over 35s.
“Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube tutorials are inspiring younger DIYers,” explains Phil Buckle, Director General of Electrical Safety First. “And there are, undoubtedly, some DIY jobs that people can do themselves. But given that well over a quarter of a million people (350,000) are seriously injured by electricity each year – and over half of all fires in UK homes are caused by it – electrical work should really be left to the professionals.
“Previous research found that around one in 12 had caused significant damage to their property, or had to pay for costly repairs because of botched DIY, after following advice found online,” adds Phil. “And a recent survey of registered electricians discovered that 15% of them had been called in to repair DIY jobs that had caused an electrical fire, with a third reporting that such work had caused clients to experience an electric shock. So while the internet is a great resource, it’s no substitute for the real thing – a professional who can do the job safely and effectively.”
Electrical Safety First is launching a media campaign to highlight the need to use a professional when working with electricity, with Sophie Robinson, TV celebrity and interior design specialist