London’s Fire Brigade have issued safety advice to anyone planning some DIY work this bank holiday weekend.
“At this time of year there is an increase in calls, which are found to have been caused by activities associated with DIY,” said Assistant Commissioner Steve Turek. “These range from fires ignited by blow torches involved in paint stripping, to drilling into live electrical cables or gas supply pipes.”
Anyone planning a trip to their local DIY superstore is urged to make one essential purchase. “A smoke alarm costs as little as £5 and could be the most important thing you purchase this weekend” says Turek.
The Brigade’s bank holiday tips are:
- Check you have the correct tool for the job
- Ensure children and pets are safe, with obstructions removed from your workplace
- If you have to check or repair an electrical tool turn it off at the mains. Don’t be tempted to cut corners because you are some distance from the power switch
- Always uncoil electrical extension cables fully, as these can overheat and cause a fire.
- Never use multi-way adapters when working with high power tools
- Gas appliances should only be repaired by an approved contractor
- Flammable liquids should be used in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions, secured in containers and used in small quantities, well away from the house and other risks – e.g. naked flames, cigarettes or pilot lights
- Ventilate when using adhesives and flammable liquids by opening windows and doors and always ensure that no naked flames or power tools are close by
- If you spill a substance on your clothing or overalls remove them and clean them thoroughly
- Don’t use electrical equipment in the garden when it is raining
- Don’t leave electrical equipment plugged in whilst unattended
- Always check where electric wiring is running behind walls before attempting to drill holes
- Invest in a portable Residual Current Device (safety device that can save lives by instantly switching off power) for all those outside DIY jobs with electric tools
- Never attempt DIY electric wiring yourself anywhere in the home
- Arrange a free home fire safety visit by calling 08000 28 44 28