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 barbecues well away from trees, buildings and fences. Never pour petrol on a barbecue. Visit the barbecue safety page for more information.

There are no laws against having a bonfire, but there are laws for the nuisance they can cause. For more information visit gov.uk/garden-bonfires-rules. However, as people are spending more time at home, Firefighters are appealing to residents to not burn household waste in their gardens. As well as the risk of the fire spreading, burning rubbish can cause pollution and harm to people’s health. See our press release for advice on storing your waste safely following the closure of recycling centres.

Electrical safety advice

  • Make sure electrical appliances have a British or European safety mark when you buy them
  • Keep your eyes peeled for signs of dangerous or loose wiring such as scorch marks, hot plugs and sockets, fuses that blow or circuit-breakers that trip for no obvious reasons, or flickering lights
  • Try to keep to one plug per socket, especially for high powered appliances
  • Use a Residual Current Device (RCD). An RCD can save your life by cutting off the power in the event of an electrical fault caused by a DIY blunder. Make sure you have one fitted in your fusebox (consumer unit), and where necessary use a plug-in RCD

Visit our electrical equipment webpage for further fire safety advice or Electrical Safety First’s website for more information.

Electrical DIY safety

Electrical outdoor safety

For more general DIY and garden safety advice, please visit the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents website.