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Electrics: The Dangers of DIY

Yes, we can probably all change a lightbulb, wire a plug, change a fuse or reset a tripped switch (though it’s worth bearing in mind that there’s probably a reason why the fuse blew, or the switch tripped in the first instance), but to attempt to carry out more complicated work is to walk a perilous path. Here are just some of the dangers and problems you could face when working on electrical DIY.

Electrocution


Poorly wired and installed electrical circuitry and appliances can burn, injure, or even kill. You can turn off every conceivable power supply in your home or workplace before carrying out whatever task it is you’ve set yourself, but that is absolutely no guarantee that the installation will be safe to use once you turn the power back on again. Fuses, circuit breakers and so on are an important line of defence – but they’re not failsafe.

Fire


Simple errors (using the wrong fuses, dodgy sockets or switches, or overloading a circuit) can cause electrical fires. Electrical fires are dangerous and, unlike regular fires, it’s dangerous to use water to put out the flames – water is an excellent conductor of electricity, meaning anyone close by who gets wet could be electrocuted.

Invalidating your insurance


If your home or workplace is damaged in any way due to faulty electrics incorrectly installed by an unqualified person, it’s an absolute certainty that your insurance company won’t pay up. Be careful – even if the damage is entirely unrelated, if they can find a way to link it back to your dodgy electrics, they will!

Using the wrong products


You might not be aware of the proper types of wires, outlets, or switches that need to be used in different situations. The cable that’s used to run power to your cooker is of a very different order to the wire that supplies your bedside lamp. So, for that matter, is the switch! Using the wrong products can cause electrocution or fire, or simply mean that the device won’t work properly.

Health and safety breaches


This applies more to workplaces than homes. But if you have an office, or a small shop, and you have staff or customers visiting your premises, incorrectly installed electrical circuits and appliances will, in all likelihood, put you in breach of Health and Safety regulations. If found to be in breach you will be fined – at the very least. If that breach leads to somebody’s injury or death, the penalty will be a lot more severe.

The legal threat


Following on from the above, this also applies to commercial and residential landlords. The electricity-related regulations to which landlords are subject are addressed in a previous blog (https://electrician-norwich.co.uk/ten-electrical-safety-requirements-for-landlords/), and the core message is worth repeating. If you are found to be in breach of the rules, you could face a fine of up to £30,000. But it could be a good deal worse if your tenants come to harm as a result of bodged electrics.

After-the-fact repairs


In these cash-strapped times, we understand the temptation to try and save money, but all too often incorrectly installed electrical systems either won’t work properly, or won’t work at all. The result is that you end up calling in an electrician anyway, costing you more time and money than if you had engaged a professional in the first place.

Selling your property


Even if your DIY electrical work is safe and functional, there will be no certification or guarantees to support it. When it comes to selling your property, this will have a negative impact. The next owner will probably insist on a homebuyer’s report, and you will have to have your electrics inspected, tested and certified. If you’re likely to be selling at any point, it’s easier to have all the documentation in place from the get-go.

We’re here to help


All things considered, it pays to consult the experts. If you’re planning or considering any electrical work (beyond lightbulbs, plugs, and fuses), talk to us. Our experienced, qualified engineers will be happy to visit you, talk through your requirements, arrange a convenient date and time to carry out the work (keeping disruption to a minimum) and leave you with all the necessary documentation. Not to mention the peace of mind of a job well done.


To talk to us or request a visit, call us today on 01508 488007 or email enquiries@excelelectrical.co.uk

Excel Electrical: the power is in your hands.