Hallowe’en horror story: how DIY can create a deathtrap

A shocking new survey from the Electrical Contractors Association has unveiled the scary facts and often dire consequences of botched DIY jobs in the home.

Tuesday, 23rd October 2012, 4:33 pm

The survey, completed by ECA member companies, indicates that over a quarter of jobs which they attend each month, are to rectify mistakes from over-confident homeowners who felt they were capable of dealing with the job themselves.

92 per cent of electricians interviewed said they have witnessed complete loss of power from botched electrical work – and more worryingly, more than a third had witnessed fire damage.

One tradesman commented: “I have seen some real death traps!”

Another said they have seen work so poorly done that the house cannot get a condition report passed, leaving it in an ‘unsatisfactory condition’.

Surprisingly, a massive 84 per cent of electricians said the most common excuse misguided DIYers gave for not calling a registered tradesman was ‘because it looked easy’, with only half mentioning saving money as their motive.

ECA chief executive Steve Bratt said: “The fact that homeowners are putting not just their electrics, but their homes and lives at risk, is quite worrying.

“I think most people would expect price to be the deciding factor when it comes to why people attempt DIY, but in reality, over-confidence in their own abilities could be causing them longer-term damage.”

Among loss of power and fire damage, an alarming 18 per cent of ECA members revealed they had also witnessed injury to the person who had unsuccessfully attempted DIY before calling for a professional.

Steve said: “With Halloween fast approaching, we want to flag up the scary reality that quite often, our members are called out to a house of horror.

“Where electrical work is concerned, don’t be tricked into thinking you can do it yourself, call for a registered electrician.”

For registered ECA members in your area, visit www.eca.co.uk