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Whilst Brits may be known for their ‘have a go’ mentality, when it comes to safety in the home a can-do attitude may be putting UK homes and families in danger.
According to our research, more than a third (34%) of UK homeowners are more likely to attempt their own DIY in the home since the Coronavirus lockdowns – in spite of 60% of respondents ranking their DIY skills as ‘average’ at best.
Lockdowns aside, more than three quarters (76%) of British households will attempt to do their own DIY in the home as opposed to using a professional; yet almost two thirds (64%) admit to having to call in a tradesperson to sort out a botched electrical job. Where a professional has been called in to rectify a DIY project which has gone wrong, almost one quarter of respondents (24%) have ended up with a bill in excess of £1,000 – but this has even exceeded £25,000 in some cases. Over a fifth (21%) wish they’d got a professional in to start with.
Ironically, a desire to save money is the main reason for Brits carrying out DIY themselves (69%) – but almost a fifth (18%) think asking for help is embarrassing or a sign of weakness (also 18%).
The research, which surveyed 2,000 UK homeowners, also found that 53% of Brits would be happy to ‘have a go’ at DIY in the home without any prior experience or formal qualifications – and it’s not just painting and decorating. Almost a quarter (24%) would dabble in general electricals, 51% in landscaping and 25% in plumbing.
Paul Collins, Head of Technical Services at NICEIC, said: “With so many Brits forced to stay home during the national lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, it's unsurprising to see that so many UK homeowners are willing to get stuck in and ‘have a go’ when it comes to DIY. It is worrying, however, that so many are willing to do this in spite of having a clear lack of experience, qualifications or even ability – especially when it comes to home electrics.
“A botched electrical job can easily lead to hefty costs and further underlying issues that may not become noticeable until it’s too late, putting UK homes and families in danger.
“With almost two thirds of people admitting to calling out a professional when things go wrong, the message is clear – when it comes to electrics in the home, leave it to the professionals and use a certified electrical contractor such as those with the NICEIC; it could mean the difference between life and death.”
And it would seem a reluctance to ask for help or a belief that ‘I can do it myself’ (58%) has led to over a quarter (28%) of homeowners waiting until the absolute worst-case scenario before calling a professional tradesperson to fix a botched DIY job in the home. In fact, almost a fifth (19%) of those surveyed admit to ‘Googling it’ and giving it a go when it comes to a DIY job they haven’t done before.
Martyn Allen, Technical Director for Electrical Safety First, comments: “There is only so much that online videos can tell you. Even watching the better ones will not give you the knowledge or experience to carry out more complicated tasks. Ask yourself: ‘If I have to Google this, should I really be doing it?’ If in any doubt, get a professional in – it could not only save you a lot of time and money in the long run, but could also avoid a serious electrical accident impacting you and your loved ones.”