Kent Fire & Rescue Service
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DIY Safety

DIY Safety

Kent Fire and Rescue Service attends incidents where the cause is related to activities involving DIY ranging from fires ignited through paint strippers and blow torches to overloaded sockets, faulty electrical appliances and height rescues.

KFRS always recommends:

  • When anyone is attempting to take on a DIY project, that it is within their capabilities

  • That all safety instructions on equipment have been read, understood and complied with.

  • That advice has been taken from reputable DIY experts or outlets.

Some important safety tips to remember could include: 

  • Carry out all safety checks on equipment

  • Make sure you have the right tools for the job in hand

  • Make sure that your working environment is safe – are there any obstructions?

  • Are your children and pets at a safe distance from the working area?

  • Once you have finished using a power tool, isolate the power.

  • When checking or repairing an electrical tool, turn it off at the mains first. 

  • Make sure you always fully uncoil electrical extension cables - these can overheat and catch fire. 

  • Avoid using multi-way adapters when working with high amperage tools. 

  • Make sure you have a circuit breaker when you use electrical tools

  • Make sure all gas appliances are repaired by an approved contractor at all times

  • Flammable liquids should:

    • Be used and kept in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions

    • Secured in containers

    • Used in small quantities

    • Used well away from the house

    • Keep well clear of risks like naked flames or cigarettes.

  • When using adhesives and flammable liquids, have good ventilation by opening windows and doors, and always ensure that no naked flames or power tools are close by. 

  • Should you spill any substance on your clothing or overalls, remove them and clean them thoroughly. 

  • When using petrol driven machinery like a generator, which emits exhaust fumes: 

    • Make sure you have adequate ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.  

    • If indoors or in an enclosed space, have a CO alarm nearby, as this will warn of rising levels of carbon monoxide.

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