DIY may not seem too high up the list of dangerous things that you can do in your home, but there are a surprising number of accidents that can occur when people are trying to carry out a bit of home improvement.
Each year A&E departments are visited by people who’ve hurt themselves carrying out DIY, and this article will hopefully raise awareness of the hazards of Do It Yourself and help you avoid an unwanted visit to the emergency department.
There are jobs that require the use of sharp tools such as scalpels and knives, and it should come as no surprise that they are the leading causes of DIY-related injury, with 20,000 people visiting the hospital with a scalpel or knife related complaint.
While there are the obvious dangers such as sharp tools, drills and working on ladders, there have been several notable cases of unusual DIY accidents that have made the news. One man was charged £25,000 by BT after his attempts at putting up a garden fence led to him slicing through one of their underground cables.
Beware of Pipes
DIY accidents may not always solely affect the person responsible – a mistake can have a much wider impact in certain circumstances.In 2001 a man severed a gas pipe while laying a patio, creating an emergency situation which led to the entire street being evacuated from their homes while engineers and firemen shut off the gas supply.
It didn’t end there though, as his further attempts at home improvement caused him to crack a water main with his spade, flooding both his and his neighbour’s gardens.
Drips & Drops
You always need to have your wits about you when you’re performing DIY, as the slightest miscalculation or loss of concentration can result in a serious mess.
Things such as spilling paint or white spirit are very easily done but also equally easy to avoid – always place containers of liquid on flat, stable surfaces (perhaps use a tray to catch drips) and take great care if you’re carrying them up ladders or stairs.
Paint and white spirit can be incredibly difficult or even impossible to remove from carpets or upholstery, so make sure you’re constantly aware of your surroundings and use sufficient sheeting to cover floors and furniture.
Worth The Risk?
Although some DIY jobs are relatively small, such as painting a wall in your home, there is still a risk of accident if you are not fully prepared. For the larger jobs, do not attempt any work unless you are totally confident that you can do so safely. Many companies offer handyman services that cater for these kinds of jobs, so it is often safer to opt for professional assistance than attempt it yourself.
VHL also offer a comprehensive handyman service for a range of property maintenance issues, from installing TVs to tiling and decorating. For more information, get in touch with us today.