Safety Tips for Home & DIY Projects

Before you attempt any DIY, you should make yourself aware of the safety tips below.

While DIY can save you money and give you a confidence boost, it is thought that around 200,000 people are admitted to A&E every year due to DIY-related injuries.

Falling from a ladder is the most common injury, followed by injuries from power tools such as drills and lawnmowers.

Before carrying out any home improvement projects, always think S.A.F.E.:

  • Safety – do you have the correct PPE? Have you cleared the area? Is equipment properly erected/secured?
  • Ability – are you a confident DIYer? Are you sure you can do the job without a professional? Some things aren’t worth the risk
  • Facts – have you properly researched what to do, and how to do it, and created a full plan from A to B? You need everything to hand before you start
  • Equipment – do you have the correct tools for the job? This includes electrical tools, as well as things like nails

Every job is different, requiring different safety knowledge, preparation, and ability levels. This is why research is required, so you know what you’re heading into.


General Advice

  • Keep everything clean and well organised. Remove furniture from a room, cover anything which can’t be removed, and dispose of waste ASAP
  • Give yourself space. Obstacles and clutter should be kept to a minimum, and keep anyone not working out of the room
  • Keep children and pets well away from a work area. There is risk of injuries to them, and also distraction to anyone working
  • Working inside? Keep the room well-ventilated, whatever the job
  • Arm yourself with knowledge of how to do the job and the possible hazards before you begin
  • Don’t rush a job. You want it done, but rushing increases the likelihood of accidents and mistakes
  • Work in good lighting, whether this is artificial in winter or natural. Think about how much natural light a room gets year round
  • Store away all tools safely and securely when finished


Safety Equipment & PPE

  • Always wear the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Gloves, dust masks, protective eyewear, ear protection, and work boots are often essential items in all tasks
  • Invest in the proper gear, and it will offer maximum protection
  • Cover bare skin when working with liquids, such as paint and cleaning fluids
  • Don’t wear jewellery or loose clothing when using power tools. Tie long hair back
  • There are various types of safety equipment available, always buy the correct type for the job
  • Keep a first aid kit in your home. This should be well stocked and replenished
  • Seek advice if you think any paint could contain lead, or you think there is asbestos present


Using Tools

  • Use the correct tool for the job. There are various drills, saws, and other basic tools available which all suit different jobs
  • Check the plug and wiring before you turn electrical tools on
  • Ensure tools are powered down before plugging in
  • Tools should be turned off and unplugged before changing parts such as drill bits
  • Keep tools in good working order. Sharp blades are safer than blunt ones. Clean tools after use so no dust or debris damages working parts
  • Choose cordless tools where appropriate. This means no wires which tether you to a plug socket, and less chance of accidents
  • If using wired tools above 230v, use an RCD power breaker unit which will cut power supply if there is damage to the wire or electrical source
  • A small hand tool, such as a manual saw, may be easier to use than the electrical version


Did you know: Hiring tools from Speedy means they’re checked after every off-loading, to ensure they’re safe to use. Our depots or customer services can also give you advice on the best tool for the job


Working at Height

  • Read our guide on working at height before proceeding
  • Ensure the correct height and positioning are achieved. You shouldn’t have to stretch
  • Never work from height alone. Somebody else should always be present
  • If using an A-frame ladder, use it only when in a locked position
  • If using any other ladder, it needs a stable base, and somebody should hold it steady
  • Don’t use aluminium ladders near electrical work
  • One Man Towers may be a safer option for bigger jobs, as they give a wider, more stable platform



  • Always wear work boots when gardening, especially if using lawn tools
  • Eye protection is essential, to save your eyes from debris such as small leaves and even pollen
  • Don’t use electricals in wet weather
  • Try to keep the use of chemicals, such as weedkiller, to a minimum


Gas, Plumbing & Electricity

  • No matter how confident a DIYer you are, don’t attempt gas and electricity works yourself
  • Gas work needs a Gas Safe Engineer, with a Gas Safe Register card
  • Electric work needs a professional, too
  • Plumbing work should be certified by a professional
  • Always use a cable detector before drilling or nailing into walls


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