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General tips on DIY safety, what to do to prevent accidents and to ensure the right fuse is fitted into appliances.


How do you know which is the correct fuse for any particular appliance?

A fuse is fitted to allow the equipment to cut out if there is a problem, before any damage is done to either the appliance or surrounding are. If, therefore, the fuse fitted is too large the appliance will be damaged before the fuse cuts out. Conversely, if the fuse is not large enough it may cut out unnecessarily – this is, however, much the safest option. If in doubt fit a lower fuse.

Common fuses are 3, 5, and 13 amp but it is possible to get fuses at other ratings such as 1 and 10 amp. To find out how big a fuse you should have fitted look for the Wattage information on the electrical equipment. For instance a television may require 300 Watts at 240 Volts AC (Alternating Current). If you divide the rated wattage by the Voltage (300 divided by 240) = 1.25, therefore, this item would run happily on a 2 amp fuse, usually a 3 or 5 amp is fitted, this is OK but the lower the fuse fitted the safer the item will be as the fuse will blow quicker in the event of a fault.

If you use 110 Volts the same principle applies – Wattage divided by voltage (i.e. 110).

Biggest problems are with things like Nursery night lights etc., with very low wattages. With these items even a 3 amp fuse can, theoretically, be way to big. One solution to this is to ensure the circuit is protected by a Residual Current Device which will trip long before a fuse will. Many modern houses are fully protected this way at the consumer unit.

I am indebted to Peter Begley for sending is the most useful information.

To prevent axe heads from becoming loose and, therefore, dangerous, regularly rub linseed oil into the handle. An oily cloth rubbed over the blade after each use will keep this in good order too.

Welding is not a DIY occupation as it is very dangerous unless you know what you are doing. If you are, however, tempted it is essential to wear a welders’ mask at all times.


Make sure your tool box is kept in a safe place, even whilst you are working. Well away from children and dangerous areas such as the top of stairs etc.


Always use the right drill bit for the job in hand i.e. wood or metal. If drilling metal make a pilot hole first to avoid the drill slipping on the metal surface.

Chisels are very sharp (or at least they should be). A lump hammer should be used with a bolt chisel and a mallet with a wood chisel.

Always buy the best quality hammer you can afford – you get what you pay for.

When using angle grinders, safety glasses should always be worn. Ensure you use the right blade for the material to be cut and that there is a safety guard in place. The blades should be tightened with the correct key.

Saws should be cleaned after every use by rubbing with an oily rag. The saw should be pulled towards you a couple of times (making a groove) before starting to saw.

Craft knives should be sharp: always cut away from yourself (not towards you) and use a piece of wood or metal rule as a cutting guide.

Never hurry when carrying out any DIY project.

Always use a RCD (circuit breaker) when using power tools.