In an age where online video tutorials can teach you how to pretty much do anything, it’s all too tempting for the internet to be the first port of call when something goes wrong around the house. There’s nothing more satisfying than admiring your own handiwork and with a step by step tutorial at your fingertips, how hard can it be?
The reality is, attempting some home DIY such as an electrical repair can be extremely dangerous, not only to your home, but to your health as well.
A minor risk is that the repair will be carried out incorrectly and you’ll be left without any electricity, in-turn having to fork out for an electrician to come and fix your mistakes. But what’s far worse is that a single error could result in a major non-compliance, a serious house fire or an electric shock causing severe injury or death.
It’s a common misconception that the domestic voltage running through household electrical wires isn’t enough to kill. This is not correct. The line from the transformer to your home is about 240 volts and if there is a fault in this line, it may well be carrying a lot more power than that. More than enough power to kill, that’s for sure!
Faulty and aging wire is one of the major causes of electrical fires in the home. In 2013-14 there were 39,000 house fires in the UK, with the main cause of accidental house fires being the misuse of electrical equipment and appliances. (www.gov.co.uk)
Although some people may feel comfortable changing a simple light fitting or fuse it’s one thing to flip a fuse switch to the power in your home on or off, but another to attempt to repair complex faulty wiring or any other major electrical work without the knowledge and expertise of a trained professional.
In addition to this there are regular checks that can be carried out on your appliances to help prevent accidents much earlier on:
- Check the RCD (residual-current device) button on the consumer unit on a regular basis.
- Check that all the electrical appliances in your property have the correctly rated fuses in your plug tops.
- Check all appliance flexes and leads for damage, we strongly advise replacing any damaged cables immediately.
- Regularly check plugs for burn marks, feeling hot and unusual sounds such as buzzing or crackling.
If in doubt, leave it to the professionals. Any repairs involving electricity should be approached with extreme caution. A good local electrical service company will be fully equipped with the right tools, are fully qualified and have spent years learning how to recognise where a fault may lie. An approved electrical installer knows what a proper repair should look like.They will also have all the most up to date health and safety training and use protective equipment, thus ensuring the job is carried out in the safest of environments.
If you’re having electrical problems or have any concerns about your electrical installation and want expert advice, then contact one of our highly trained staff, who will be happy to discuss your needs.