Avoiding DIY Catastrophes



Being prepared for the unexpected can help prevent a disaster even when things do go wrong. Use some common sense and a little bit of planning to make sure you do all you can to avert common problems.

Don’t wait until disaster strikes to find your stop-cocks and gate valves. Opening and closing them four times a year will ensure they easily work when you need them to.

Don’t let a blown fuse leave you in the dark: keep a repair kit near your mains fuse box, with a torch – check the batteries regularly – screwdrivers, spare fuses, bulbs and fuse wire, rubber gloves and insulated pliers, a trimming knife and insulating tape.

Keep your head: if any of your tools has a loose head or handle, replace the whole tool or have it repaired by a professional.

Keep a toolbox tidy for easy access and always use the cover guards which come with tools such as saws, knives and chisel blades.

Buy equipment and household appliances which are made to a British or European standard or carry an approved product quality and safety mark. There will be a label on the product.

Have a basic First Aid kit easily accessible.

Get it taped: cover electrical switches which are broken. Switch off at the mains and remove the fuse to that line, and keep it with you, so even if the power is switched on accidentally the line will still be dead and not you, while you carry out a job. The tapes are a reminder for you and a warning to others. Call in professional help if you don’t know what you’re doing.