Gardeners urged to stay safe following spike in electrical safety incidents

24/08/2021

We've launched a safety campaign to keep people safe from DIY hazards. The number of electrical safety incidents recorded in gardens has risen by over 80% in the past year according to new statistics from SP Energy Networks.

The steep increase comes as many people spent significant periods at home over the last year and undertook DIY projects as they spend more time in their gardens.

With many potential risks associated with cutting back your garden in preparation for Autumn, we have launched our safety campaign to help keep people safe while working near electricity.

The increase in people tackling projects in their homes and gardens has seen an 80% increase in reported incidents across the UK, rising from 881 incidents from January to June 2020, to 1,589 incidents in the same period this year*.

We've released the stats which relate to a host of domestic incidents, including garden work such as hedge trimming, digging up trees or putting fences in, as well as work inside the home, such as painting and decorating.

Kendal Morris, Director of Customer Service at SP Energy Networks, said: “We know that despite restrictions easing, many people are continuing to spend more time in their own gardens and tackle odd jobs, which has resulted in a sharp increase in safety incidents being reported.

“It’s crucial that people are aware of the very real dangers that can occur even when doing what may seem like a simple task. When you’re not involving the experts, you have to be conscious of the various risks involved and potential hazards of working near electricity.

“Many people aren’t even aware of what they are which is why we provide free safety advice on our website for people to follow before they attempt any DIY to help avoid any DIY disasters.”

Our top safety tips include:

  • Before carrying out any DIY in your garden, request free network plans and safety advice that SP Energy Networks can provide.
  • Always assume powerlines are live – even if they have fallen to the ground, broken or aren’t sparking.
  • Select your machinery and equipment in relation to safe working distances and ensure it can’t come into contact with overhead power lines.
  • Carry long objects at a low level and horizontally when passing under overhead cables.
  • Do not attempt to rewire or tamper with the electrical components of appliances, leave this to an expert.
  • Use cable locators before carrying out any work. Check plans by tracing cables and marking their position and always scan the area you intend to excavate before you start to dig.
  • Always ensure that electrical items are turned off at the mains after use.
  • You can call the 105 number in a case of an electrical network emergency. If anyone is injured, please call 999 for medical attention.

Garden Safety

Click here for further safety information 

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