Yorkshire's houses of horrors - brash blokes are putting homes in grave danger

Wednesday, 30th May 2018, 11:34 am
Updated Wednesday, 30th May 2018, 12:40 pm

In the peak of DIY season, new research has revealed the shocking lengths that Yorkshire’s brash blokes will go when it comes to ‘having a go’ at deadly DIY – leaving many homes open to potentially grave safety dangers.

According to new research by NICEIC, the UK’s leading name for registered electricians, despite major progress being made in dispelling traditional gender stereotypes, over four in five (77%) men in Yorkshire & Humber still see their role as the ‘man of the house’.

Portraying the breadth of blokes’ bravado in the region, almost nine in ten (87%) admit they would rather rely totally upon themselves than ask others for help. For two thirds (65%) it’s a case of they believe they can do it all themselves, a third (33%) feel men should be self-sufficient and a fifth (17%) think asking for help is embarrassing.

Aligned to this macho mind-set, almost two thirds (61%) of UK men admit they’d happily have a go at DIY with no prior experience. And it’s not just picking up a paintbrush; 52% would attempt to insulate a loft, 38% would dabble in electrics and 37% plumbing. In comparison, just 8% of UK women would attempt vital electrical work themselves.

Yet, a third (29%) of UK men have had to call in a professional to rectify a bodged job they have done, compared to just 16% of women – with the average cost to fix a DIY disaster in the UK standing at a whopping £1,165. What’s more, 27% of UK men admit to finishing a DIY job to a poor standard, 16% have covered up a DIY mistake and 15% have injured themselves in the process.

In response, and just in time for the final summer DIY rush, NICEIC has launched ‘Ban the Bravado’, a national consumer safety campaign warning homeowners, particularly male DIY-dabblers, about the dangers of electrical DIY.

Fronted by TV presenter and former England footballer, Dion Dublin, the new campaign encourages homeowners to use a qualified, registered electrician when carrying out any type of electrical work in the home in order to ensure they stay safe.

Dion Dublin says: “I’ve teamed up with NICEIC to encourage all consumers, particularly British Blokes, to ditch the bravado and get a professional registered with a government approved scheme such as NICEIC in to carry out any electrical work in the home. Even though it may be tempting to try to do it themselves, especially over the summer, the reality is that electrics shouldn’t be messed with and it could mean the difference between life and death.”

Each year around 12,500 house fires, 750 serious injuries and 10 deaths are caused by unsafe electrics in the home. According to Electrical Safety First, the leading charity for electrical safety, almost half of all electric shocks described as severe are the result of a DIY error.

Darren Staniforth, technical expert at NICEIC, comments: “It’s very worrying that so many men in the UK have such a blasé attitude to major home improvement work in the home, despite many admitting to coming a cropper at some point. While confidence is certainly an admirable quality to have, it cannot come to the detriment of safety in the home – they must be realistic about their abilities and know when it’s time to call in a professional.

“When it comes to electrics in the home, they simply must not be meddled with. The worry is that a botched job could cause potentially deadly underlying electrical problems in the home that may not become noticeable until it’s too late.

“As we approach summer, a prime time for DIY disasters, our message for blokes in East Anglia is simple – ban the bravado and call in a professional, such as those listed with NICEIC, for any electrical work in order to keep your home and family safe.”

Interestingly, the research also revealed that a third of UK men (27%) would wait until the absolute worst case scenario happened before calling on a professional to help with a botched DIY job, and still 56% wouldn’t trust them to do a good job and not rip them off.

For further information on the ‘Ban the Bravado’ campaign please visit www.niceic.com/banthebravado