The ESC launched its second campaign to promote the Electrical Safety Register in August. The campaign, which focused on DIY blunders caused by people attempting to do electrical work themselves has so far reached 35 million people across the UK.
To support the campaign, we surveyed consumers and electricians and found that almost half of all severe electric shocks are caused by DIY attempts, such as cutting through power leads, drilling into wiring in walls and repairing electrical items that are still switched on.
Many dive-in DIYers are also taking on the big jobs. One in five people with no electrical training say they are confident to try installing new lights in homes and one in 10 say they’d happily install new wiring. This overconfidence partly comes from a reliance on the advice of unqualified friends or family (half of those surveyed said they do this) or seeking help online. Two-fifths of people say they use Google to get tips and the same number use online video tutorials.
The ESC consulted 2,000 electricians and found a third are now spending up to a quarter of their time fixing botched DIY, with half of those surveyed saying this has increased over the past five years, with the majority of callouts being to fix simple jobs that went badly wrong.
Worryingly, a third of electricians said they had seen or been involved with fixing DIY that had resulted in fires, serious electric shock or very expensive repairs.
The campaign urged the public not to attempt electrical jobs themselves, but instead to find a registered electrician from the Electrical Safety Register, the largest register of electricians in the country.
The next ESC promotion of the Electrical Safety Register will take place in November.
This article was written by Thomas Holland