Over the past 12 months, many of us have embarked on DIY projects as we finally find the time to hang shelves, upcycle furniture, or fix that leaky tap. However, there are definitely some projects that require skilled tradespeople to complete safely and legally, otherwise you could be putting yourself and anyone else in your house in danger.
Here are four things you should not try to fix yourself:
- Anything gas related.
Don’t try and install gas appliances. Don’t fiddle with gas pipes and don’t try and fix gas leaks.
If you smell gas, you should open all of the windows and doors, turn off the gas tap at the mains and leave the building immediately BEFORE calling the 24/7 National Gas Emergencies line on 0800 111 999 and following their advice.
Don’t use a mobile phone or turn on any electrical appliances while inside the building in case they spark. Don’t light a match or lighter in or near the building. If you are feeling unwell, head to hospital and explain that you may have been exposed to gas.
The safety risks with anything gas related are of course a critical explosion or gas poisoning. In addition, it is illegal to work with gas if you are unqualified – or to hire an unqualified person.
- A dodgy boiler
If your boiler appears to be having issues and you start taking the casing off to investigate – stop. You may get injured or even make the problem worse – it is better to seek out a professional to sort the problem before you cause harm to yourself and create a costly issue.
- A leaky pipe
Whether the pipe is leaking inside or outside, trying to fix a leaking water pipe as an unqualified individual could make a problem significantly worse. You could also pose a hazard to yourself and others if you escalate a leak by causing structural issues to a wall or encouraging mould.
In addition, escalating a leak in a sewage pipe will not only make you the least popular person in the house, but you could also expose yourself and others to harmful bacteria.
Save yourself – and others – the trauma and call a plumber or your local water company.
- Electrical installations
While some do feel confident in being able to install large appliances or wire plugs throughout their house, there are domestic building code regulations which should be followed to ensure the work is carried our safely and accurately. The dangers with faulty electrics include; electric fires, electric shocks and in the most serious of cases, electrocution leading to death.
Whilst not a legal requirement for homeowners, electrical safety certificates are advised. For landlords and commercial premises these are mandatory. These certificates are documented evidence of safe electrical installations throughout a building and are becoming an important piece of documentation for surveyors to review during the sale of a house.
Speak to a qualified electrician for more information and to ensure the ongoing safety of the electrical installations in your home.