Prevent a DIY electricity disaster

Many people opt to carry out electrical jobs in their homes themselves to save money. It may also be tempting to do this if you can’t currently gain access to the services of a professional electrician because you have been told that they are too busy. However, you may be putting yourself and others at serious risk if you do undertake domestic electrical jobs without the relevant experience. Read on to find out what to avoid if you wish to prevent a DIY electricity disaster.

Know your limits

If you have little or no experience in carrying out a specific electrical job, it’s always best to leave things to the professionals. Almost half of all electric shocks deemed to be severe are linked to DIY errors. You may even invalidate your warranties on electrical products if you attempt to fix them yourself. Unless you are particularly confident that you can complete an electrical job safely and efficiently, it’s very wise to ask for outside help. Nonetheless, if you do wish to undertake a few basic electrical jobs at home, there are steps you can take to prevent an accident.

Wiring plugs

If you are replacing a plug, make sure you’re buying the replacement from a credible retailer. The plug must meet British safety regulations and needs to be marked with both ‘BS 1363’ and a Notified Body approval mark. Follow the instructions clearly.

Replacing light bulbs

Again, it’s essential to make sure you’re buying your bulb from a reliable source. Make notes of watts, voltage, type and size of connection you need before you go ahead and make your purchase. Don’t remove or replace a bulb before you have turned off the light switch. If the bulb is linked to a two-way switch, you’ll need to turn the supply off at the fusebox.

Is your RCD is working properly?

RCDs are sensitive safety devices that are installed in fuseboxes. These are designed to turn your electricity off automatically if you do have a fault. This can prevent you from an electric shock, which could end your life if you touch a bare live wire. You can find out whether you have fixed RCD protection by looking at your fusebox and seeing if it has a device with a pushbutton that features a ‘T’ or the word ‘test’. RCDs need to be tested every six months or so.

Drilling holes

Before you drill a hole in a wall to hang up a picture, make sure there’s no chance of you drilling through a cable behind the surface. This could give you a harsh electric shock. If you do discover that you’ve damaged a cable, ask a registered electrician to put things right instead of attempting to fix it yourself.

Contact us

At Ability, we can carry out a range of electrical jobs that are best left to the professionals. You can reach us today by completing the form on our site, by giving us a call on 01892 514495 or by sending a message to

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