Safety First When DIYing, says Confused.com

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If summer has brought out the DIY enthusiast in you, there are two vital things to avoid damaging when breaking out those sharp and pointy tools: yourself and your home.

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DIY disasters can cost lives, sends around 200,000 people a year to casualty, and the home repair bill costs in the hundreds of millions of pounds, therefore it's essential to lessen the risks to both yourself and your home.

Simon Lamble, product director for Confused.com says, "DIY disasters can cost lives, sends around 200,000 people a year to casualty, and the home repair bill costs in the hundreds of millions of pounds, therefore it's essential to lessen the risks to both yourself and your home."

So if your DIY skills are more Mr Bean than Handy Andy, protect yourself by heeding the following safety tips, and protect your home by checking you have adequate home insurance.

Protect Yourself

To avoid a trip to casualty, here are some DIY Safety Tips:

  •     Don't DIY alone - this way, if you have an accident help will always be on hand.
  •     Be extra careful up a ladder - ladder falls account for around 20% of DIY-related hospital admissions.
  •     Wear protective gear - always wear safety kit that's appropriate to the job, e.g. safety goggles, gloves or steel toecap boots.
  •     Take your time - never rush a job, especially when using potentially dangerous tools.
  •     Mind your back - always protect your back when picking up heavy objects: bend your knees then stand slowly, keeping your back straight at all times. Always get help if possible.
  •     Never attempt a DIY task when you're tired.
  •     Know your limits - if you think a job's beyond your ability, hire a professional. It may cost more but consider the possible cost of an injury. Also, certain electrical jobs can only be carried out by a qualified electrician.
  •     If up in the attic, watch out for weak spots. Lay boards across the beams to avoid going through the ceiling.
  •     Use equipment safely - ensure equipment is fit for use before you start. Also check that equipment carries British or European quality or standard marks. Make sure you're familiar with the correct and safe use of any tools. Basically, if it comes with a safety manual - read it!
  •     Avoid inhaling poisonous fumes - check for warning labels on containers (paint, glue, thinners etc) and keep rooms well ventilated.
  •     If doing a job that's likely to interfere with the gas, water or electricity, turn off the supply before you begin.
  •     Be very careful to avoid electrical wiring when drilling through walls.

Protect Your Home

Before tackling any DIY tasks, check your home insurance policy to make sure you're covered if things go wrong - you may find you'll need to up your accidental damage cover for both your buildings insurance and contents insurance.

Also, you may not be covered for tackling things like plumbing or electrical work, and doing so could invalidate your home insurance policy. In this case, get a professional in to do the job.

Basically, always check with the insurer first, because if things go wrong and you're not covered, when the bill for your DIY disaster arrives you may have to PIY - that's Pay It Yourself!

Notes to editors

For further information please contact:
Caroline Spindlove                
Confused.com             
02920 434 393

Gug Kyriacou/ Joanna Harte            
Polhill Communications        
020 7655 0550    

About Confused.com:
Confused.com is one of the UK's biggest and most popular price comparison services. Launched in 2002, it dominates the car insurance aggregator market and generates over one million quotes per month. It has expanded its range of comparison products over the last couple of years to include home insurance, travel insurance, pet insurance, van insurance, motorbike insurance, breakdown cover and energy, as well as financial services products including credit cards, loans, mortgages and life insurance.

Confused.com is not a supplier, insurance company or broker. It provides its customers with a free, wholly objective comparison service to help with their decision making. Using cutting-edge technology, Confused.com has developed a series of intelligent web-based solutions that evaluate a number of risk factors to help customers search, buy and apply for whichever product or policy best matches their individual needs. Prices quoted on Confused.com are the same, or cheaper, than going to the insurer direct. Confused.com's service is based on the most up to date information provided by UK suppliers and industry regulators.

Confused.com is regulated by the FSA.

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Caroline Spindlove
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