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DIY and Garden Safety

Over ambition and lack of knowledge are two of the biggest factors in causing death and injury related DIY accidents. Make sure your DIY efforts don't go up in flames this spring by sparing a thought for fire safety.

  • Be realistic and don't tackle a job unless you really have the ability. A competent, qualified person should always carry out gas and electrical renewal or repair work.
  • Keep any tools clean and in good repair, and give them a once over before you use them.
  • Always plan ahead - accidents happen more easily if you are unprepared and rush.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and sturdy shoes when mowing the lawn and keep your feet and hands well away from the mower blades.
  • Stop and disconnect all electrical appliances and tools before working on them.
  • Ensure that all tools, paint and chemicals are kept safely out of the reach of children.
  • Take extra care with sharp cutting tools.
  • Follow manufacturers instructions very carefully when using adhesives, especially the instant type.
  • Use an RCD - residual current device - if you are using electrical equipment outdoors.
  • Keep children and pets away when carrying out DIY.
  • Keep barbecues well away from trees, buildings and fences. Never pour petrol on a barbecue.
  • Some plants and berries are poisonous or can cause an allergic reaction.
  • Keep all products in their original containers and always follow the manufacturer’s guidance when using equipment.


DIY electrical work in homes is covered by Building Regulations. You can still do your own work, but some riskier jobs may need to be approved by your local authority's Building Control Department. For information on the rules affecting people carrying out electrical work in homes and gardens, visit the Department for Communities and Local Government HERE, or telephone 030 3444 0000. Alternatively, call your local authority's Building Control Department for advice.