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Lockdown DIY Leads to Shocking Increase in Electricity Incidents

Posted: 8th October 2020

SP Energy Networks’ summer safety campaign highlights DIY hazards

The number of safety incidents involving electricity around homes and gardens across the country has risen steeply since last year, due to the massive increase in DIY projects during lockdown. The shocking safety figures have been revealed by electricity distributor SP Energy Networks as it continues its safety campaign.

With many people opting to stay home this summer, SP Energy Networks’ safety campaign is designed to get people thinking about the dangers of electricity before attempting DIY. The surge in DIY garden projects has seen a 24% increase in reported incidents across the UK– rising from 126 incidents from January to June 2019 to 161 incidents in the same period this year.

The safety figures have been released by SP Energy Networks on the back of a spike in domestic incidents as customers began to dig up trees, cut high hedges, hammer in fences and paint over electricity service positions. Through the new awareness campaign, SP Energy Networks will remind people to be aware of hidden electrical hazards when renovating.

Guy Jefferson, Customer Service Director at SP Energy Networks, said: “Lockdown has given lots of people the time and opportunity to get on with the DIY projects they’ve wanted to tackle in their homes and gardens, which is great. However, there are some very real and present dangers in doing it yourself and not involving the experts, and these need to be considered at all times. We’ve been shocked by the rise in safety incidents as people do more DIY in their gardens and home

“There are plenty of dangerous electrical hazards around the home and garden that people might not consider when carrying out DIY. So SP Energy Networks provides free safety advice on our website for those who are planning to do work near powerlines and underground cables. We want to help people plan ahead so we’ve put together some top tips to avoid a DIY SOS situation.”

  • Before carrying out any DIY in your garden, you can get free safety advice from SP Energy Networks to assess whether there are any potential electrical risks.
  • Always assume powerlines are live – even if they have fallen to the ground, broken or aren’t sparking.
  • When undertaking work in the garden, be aware of underground cables which may pose an electrical hazard. Wearing rubber boots won’t necessarily protect you, as there may be another path for electricity to reach the ground.
  • Do not attempt to rewire or tamper with the electrical components of appliances, leave this to an expert.
  • Always ensure that electrical items are turned off at the mains after use.
  • If you experience any kind of incident involving electricity, call SP Energy Networks on the emergency 105 hotline number.

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