A spot of DIY and maybe even a barbecue (if the weather cheers up) could be on the agenda during the bank holiday break, but Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding householders to ‘think safety’.
Time off at Easter could seem like the perfect opportunity to get odd jobs done, but too often these efforts can result in DIY disasters as varied as blow torch fires or punctured electrical cables.
If the correct precautions are not taken, even something as simple as having a barbecue can also result in unplanned fires.
Community safety officer Jo Gouldson said: “We really hope everyone has a happy, fun-filled Easter holiday, but we think it’s important to remind people about the steps they can take to keep safe.
“People should always make sure they have safe and appropriate tools for carrying out DIY jobs, as well as the knowledge needed to do the job safely. Electrical appliances should also be sourced from reputable traders.
“Of course, one of the key pieces of safety equipment people should have in their homes throughout the year is a working smoke alarm. We recommend having at least one on each level of your home. Something as simple as this could provide you and your family the warning you need to escape a fire safely.”
DIY and electrical safety:
- If tackling DIY, make sure you have the correct tools for the job.
- A DIY workplace should be kept clear of children and pets, so their safety is assured.
- If checking or repairing an electrical tool, always turn it off at the mains.
- Never use multi-way adapters when working with high power tools.
- Always uncoil electrical extension cables fully as these can overheat and cause fire.
- Gas appliances should only be repaired by an approved contractor.
- If it is raining, do not use electrical equipment in the garden.
- Flammable liquids should be used in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions, secured in containers and used in small quantities, well away from the house and other risks such as naked flames and cigarettes.
- Ventilate when using adhesives and flammable liquids by opening windows and doors. Make sure no naked flames or power tools are close by.
- Always check where electric wiring is running behind walls before trying to drill a hole.
Barbecue safety tips:
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- Keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.
- Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues. Never use a barbecue indoors or in a tent.
- Never leave a lit barbecue unattended.
- Make sure your barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste.
- Keep children, pets and garden games away from the cooking area.
- After cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before moving it.
- Empty ashes onto bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins. If they’re hot, they can melt the plastic and cause a fire.
- Us enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue, but not more (normally around 5cms or two inches).
- Enjoy yourself, but don’t drink too much alcohol if you’re in charge of the barbecue.
- Never use petrol or paraffin to start or revive your barbecue. Use only recognised lighters or starter fuels on cold coals.