Looking back just a few years, if you wanted any work doing on your house – whether it was carpet cleaning or having a cooker installed in the kitchen – it was time to call in the professionals. However, as we’ve become a little more adventurous, a little more knowledgeable, and with the financial effects of the recession still lingering over us, more and more homeowners in the UK are opting to go down the DIY route. While this may have seemed risky in the past, DIY websites such as Instructables and Make, and websites that give DIY cleaning tips like Cleanipedia, for example, are now making DIY much more accessible (and safer) for the general public. In fact, around 21 million of us are willing to give DIY a go based on advice from the web.
Reducing the Risk
How risky is DIY, really? The answer is: very. Whether homeowners are a little too confident in their abilities or if they become distracted by the football on the TV is unclear, but approximately 87,000 of us end up injured each year from DIY attempts, according to the ROSPA. These accidents happen most often due to the use of knives (around 21,000 accidents each year in the UK), power tools (around 3,000 accidents per year), and chemicals used for cleaning, which account for between 3,000 and 4,000 accidents. The good news, however, is that the number of accidents is dropping, perhaps due to the rise of detailed websites which indicate the likely risks, encourage safe behaviour, and showcase some of the best methods for getting the job done.
Of course, if you’re using the internet as a source of information, it’s important to stay vigilant. If you fell for Pinterest’s ‘Moonmelon’, or believed any story you read on the Daily Mail homepage on 1 April, then you need to be extra careful. Where you get your information from matters, so try to stick to reliable sources that are backed by established organisations. Cleanipedia, for example, is supported by Unilever, it offers DIY cleaning tips. Well-known DIY stores’ websites often give a wide range of trustworthy advice too. There have been reports that suggest that one in 16 people damage their homes, or themselves, when taking DIY advice found on the internet. But what this number may actually suggest is that people using the internet don’t follow the instructions, rather than indicating an issue with advice authenticity. So if you are thinking of joining the DIY revolution, remember to listen to the safety advice, follow the steps faithfully, and not to bother with moonmelons.