Do DIY safely while self-isolating 

Self-isolation has led to many people across the area looking for ways to keep busy – taking on DIY jobs has proved a popular option. To ensure projects are completed safely, we're offering top tips on how to take on jobs.

Many of us are spending more time in our homes, so we're now having the chance to complete jobs that we may have been putting off. We want everyone to follow some basic safety advice. Remember, if you aren't confident enough to take on the project, whether it involves complex plumbing or electrics, or you just don't know how to do it, please wait until you're able to hire an expert.

  • Power tools – Before using any power tool, everyone should read the instructions and ensure they are aware of all the features, paying particular attention to the safety elements. Also, be aware of trip hazards from a cable, and never carry a power tool by the cord.
  • Ladders – The first rule is to have someone on hand to hold a ladder and keep it stable. Never lean or stretch to complete a task when simply moving it closer will be a lot safer. Always climb the ladder facing it, and if it has the slightest bit of damage, it's time to purchase a new one.
  • Clothing – Never try and do any DIY wearing long, flowing clothing as it can get caught up in the tools. Depending on the job, it may be wise to wear protective items, such as goggles to protect eyes from shrapnel, gloves to safeguard hands from sharp edges, or a face mask if the job will create a lot of dust. Also, tie long hair back and remove all jewellery.

  • Garden – With the weather having turned recently, many people are using this time to complete tasks in the garden. Like a power tool, before tackling the lawn, ensure all the features of the mower are known – especially if it hasn't been used before. Keep all chemical products, such as weed killer and insect repellent, out of the reach of children, and just because we're not in the height of summer, doesn't mean the sun won't burn skin, so wear protection if working outside for an extended period of time.
  • Drilling – The task of drilling a hole into a wall may sound like an easy task, but there are certain places in a home that can pose a risk. There are many wires in walls that can cause electrocution if drilled into, so a general tip is don't drill above or below light switches or plug sockets. The same goes for working around radiators because this is where there is likely to be water pipes. There are devices that can indicate whether a wire is behind a wall, so if in doubt, check first.

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