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Safety warning for DIY enthusiasts

PUBLISHED: 16:26 29 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:48 03 March 2010

SUFFOLK Fire Service has issued safety advice to all DIY enthusiasts in the run-up to the bank holiday.

Statistics show that at this time of year there is an increase in calls to the fire service caused by activities associated with DIY.

SUFFOLK Fire Service has issued safety advice to all DIY enthusiasts in the run-up to the bank holiday.

Statistics show that at this time of year there is an increase in calls to the fire service caused by activities associated with DIY.

Fires are often caused by blow torches used to strip paint, or electrical appliances and other equipment which have been stored in a damp garage or shed over the winter period.

One fire officer's mother was cutting back conifer trees in her garden last spring, and was trying to burn some of the cuttings using paraffin. She accidentally set fire to the whole row of conifer trees and suffered burns to her face and hair.

Martyn Thorpe, community fire safety officer, said: "Our experience shows that in the spring when people start to think about DIY, we see a rise in related fires and accidents. There are some simple rules to follow which can make DIY much safer."

The fire service is issuing the following advice:

Always check that the DIY task is within your capabilities

Safety instructions should be read in full and followed at all times

Ensure children and pets are safe, and remove obstructions from your workplace

If you have to check or repair an electrical tool always turn it off at the mains. Don't be tempted to leave it on because you are some distance from the power switch

Always uncoil electrical extension cables fully, as they can overheat and cause a fire

Never use multi-way adapters when working with high amperage tools

Gas appliances should only be repaired by an approved contractor

Flammable liquids should be used in accordance with manufacturer's instructions, secured in containers and used in small quantities, well away from the house and other risks such as naked flames or cigarettes

Ventilate when using adhesives and flammable liquids by opening windows and door and make sure that no naked flames or power tools are close by

If you spill a flammable substance on your clothing or overalls remove them and clean them thoroughly.

Peter Monk, member of the county council's executive committee, added: "DIY is a pleasant pastime from which many people gain a great deal of pleasure. By following these simple rules, accidents, fires and tragedies will hopefully be kept to a minimum."

N Have you had any DIY disasters? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk


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