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DIY safety guide

DIY home tips from AA Home Insurance

Before your start the job

  • Take your time. You shouldn’t under-estimate how long a DIY job will take you. If you start to run out of time, do not be tempted to rush or take a short cut. Tiredness is a big factor in many accidents, so give yourself a break.
  • Ask for help. If a job is too much, call in the professionals. Proving a point is little use if it puts you in hospital.
  • Avoid 'making do'. Choose the right tools and protective equipment for the job. Don’t wear loose clothing or jewellery and tie back long hair.

Working with electricity

  • Keep water away from anything electric. Don’t even be tempted to wash down the walls without turning off the power at the mains.
  • Read the manufacturer's instructions on extension cables. They could overheat if left coiled. Check an extension is appropriate for the appliance it’s connected to.
  • Never overload a socket with too many plugs or adaptors.
  • Don’t allow cables to become kinked or frayed. Make sure plugs are undamaged and tightly closed with no loose connections and that cord grips are tightened.
  • Ensure plugs are correctly fused. Fuses protect cables and flexes from the effects of overheating caused by short circuits and overload.
  • Always follow manufacturers' recommendations for fuses, or seek expert advice.
  • Check older appliances such as electric blankets and Christmas tree lights.
  • If a fuse blows for no obvious reason or an appliance is not working properly, switch it off at the socket and unplug it before trying to find out why.
  • The same principles apply to fuse boxes or circuit breakers - always switch them off at the mains before you investigate the problem and remember to replace the cover before switching back on.
  • If in doubt call a qualified electrician.

Ladder safety

  • Don’t struggle with an extension ladder on your own. Get help.
  • Apply the leaning ladder rule. That is, position the foot of the ladder one measure out for every four measures in height.
  • Ladder feet should be on a firm, level surface with the top resting on something solid.
  • Never lean a ladder on guttering or on a window sill.
  • Always secure the bottom and upper part of the ladder with rope or straps around the stiles but never from the rungs.
  • Move the ladder rather than over-reach.
  • Wear sensible shoes. Don’t wear sandals or work in bare feet.

Safe gardening

  • Always concentrate when using equipment, especially if it is electrical.
  • Ensure that cables run behind the equipment. Never cut towards a flex and don’t use it in wet conditions.
  • Never clean, lift, adjust or even check electrical garden tools while they are still plugged in. Always switch them off and unplug them first. Only clear grass from a power mower when it is switched off and the spark plug cap has been removed.
  • Never wash electrical garden equipment with water. Switch them off and unplug them before wiping them down with a cloth.
  • Never use extension leads for permanent fixings such as greenhouse lighting or heating.
  • Never work in bare feet. Make sure to wear strong shoes or boots.
  • If there are old materials such as asbestos and lead in your garden, get advice about handling it from your local authority or call in a professional.
  • Never leave bbqs unattended especially if children or pets are in the area.
  • Wear goggles and face masks when using any kind of gardening chemicals

If an accident happens

  • Stay calm and assess the situation.
  • Only approach the casualty if you’re not putting yourself in danger.
  • Eliminate the risks before you approach the casualty. For example unplug electrical applies.
  • Assess the casualty to the best of your ability and call for help if you believe they need medical attention.
  • Don’t give the injured person anything to eat or drink.

Talk to our agents to buy or renew your House Insurance

Call AA House Insurance 0818 227 228. If you’re calling from outside Ireland, call +353 1 6179104. Agents are available to take your call from 09.00 to 19.00, Monday to Friday

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AA Insurance is tied to RSA Insurance Ireland DAC for the purposes of selling home insurance.

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