Spring has arrived and, with the Easter weekend looming, many people are starting to tackle jobs around the house and garden.
With this in mind, Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service has issued some timely advice to all would-be ‘do it yourself’ enthusiasts.
Watch Manager Neil Chamberlain, from the community safety department, said: “National statistics show that, at this time of year, there is an increase in fire calls caused by activities associated with DIY. These range from fires ignited by blow torches involved in paint stripping to electrical appliances and other equipment that may have been stored in a damp garage or shed over the winter period.”
He added: “Always check that the task you are undertaking is within your capabilities. Take expert advice – many of the modern DIY superstores can advise on how best to use materials and equipment – and always make sure that safety instructions are read in full and complied with.”
Other important safety tips to remember:
· Check you have the correct tool for the job.
· Ensure children and pets are safe, with obstructions removed from your workplace.
· If you have to check or repair an electrical tool, turn it off at the mains. Don’t be tempted to cut corners because you are some distance from the power switch.
· Always uncoil electrical extension cables fully, as these can overheat and cause a fire.
· Never use multi-way adapters when working with high amperage tools.
· Gas appliances should only be repaired by an approved contractor
· 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 or cigarettes.
· Ventilate when using adhesives and flammable liquids by opening windows and doors, and always ensure that no naked flames or power tools are close by.
· If you spill a substance on your clothing or overalls, remove them and clean them thoroughly.
· If you use petrol driven machinery (such as 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.
For a full range of home fire safety advice, visit www.wiltsfire.gov.uk/yoursafety