Everybody likes to find new ways to save money. Whether it’s shopping at a new discount supermarket or getting a friend to cut your hair, it’s fair to say that if you look after your pennies the pounds will eventually take care of themselves.
With some things, it really is best to pay for quality; cutting costs by cutting corners can be a false economy and it can be dangerous too.
Research by the Gas Safe Register and the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) showed that some people were prepared to become DIY electricians and gas engineers for the day, if it meant they could save a mere £60.
Besides the potential to make a real mess of a job that really should be left to a professional, the dangers of carrying out DIY electrical and gas work at home shouldn’t be ignored. A wrongly fitted fuse or an un-earthed electrical appliance can cause serious injury or even death.
It’s estimated that half of all domestic fires in the UK are caused by an electrical appliance. Research by the ESC indicated that a tenth of all people would rewire their own home despite the clear dangers of doing so.
With this in mind, to ensure your home is safely wired and you don’t pay over the odds for electrical services, the ESC recommends that you get at least three quotations for your domestic electrical jobs. Don’t necessarily go with the cheapest – any ‘sparky’ that works on your wiring should be approved by a reputable body and should be a qualified electrician. The last thing you want is to pay someone who is no more skilled or qualified than you are.
Furthermore, any electrician should have public liability insurance of at least £2m – just in case anything should go wrong.
Of course, there are other measures you can take to ensure your house is safe from electrical accidents. Keep an eye out for hot plugs and sockets, flickering lights or fuses that frequently blow – they could be indicators of loose/faulty wiring. Also look to avoid plugging too many electrical appliances into one socket as this can lead to overheating.
Crucially, never leave any electrical appliance switched on at night – unless they are designed to be left on, such as fridges and freezers.
Following these simple measures will help ensure your home is safe – but there is never any 100% guarantee that something won’t go wrong.
Additional protection is available in the form of insurance and by requesting an online home insurance quote it soon becomes apparent how little it can cost for extra peace of mind.