As everyone is preparing for Christmas and many are putting up their outdoor lights, DIY Doctor would like to give some helpful tips on installing your outside christmas lights safely.
- Ideally have somebody else to help you – holding ladder etc.
- Make sure the lights are manufactured for use outside.
- Read all manufacturers instructions thoroughly.
- If you are using old lights – check them over for any damage, and if you find any are damaged or fraying – bin them!
- Remember ladder safety – don’t take risks and over-stretch yourself, you really don’t want to end up in hospital over Christmas.
- Use cable ties to attach lights to guttering supports or other bits of house that you can get to, and if possible put hooks up that can be left all year so it easier to do every year.
- Use a Residual Current Device (RCD). You can buy portable units for outdoor use, or you can have them permanently installed by an electrician.
- Switch your lights off overnight and when you leave the house.
- Contact an electrician if you want to fit an outdoor weatherproof socket - use our Find a Tradesman service to get free quotes from electricians in your area.
Hopefully you will end up with something a bit more like this …….
…….and less like this!
A health and safety instructor narrowly avoided serious injury whilst giving a demonstration on ladder safety, when he came crashing to the ground. The instructor, Paul Cavanagh, who works for a company in Tyne and Wear, was demonstrating how to work safely up a ladder by tethering yourself to it.
Unfortunately, he firstly forgets to put on his hard hat so has to be thrown it whilst up the ladder – not recommended!. Then as he is demonstrating how the safety harness holds him as he steps off a rung of the ladder, the ladder falls to the side and both ladder and Mr Cavanagh come down over a garden fence.
For more information and advice on how to use a ladder safely please see our project page.
We may only be in the first half of September, but it would definately appear that summer is over, and so we should all be turning our minds to any autumn jobs that need attention before the weather turns more wintery.
Our project on Autumn Maintenance Checks gives some good pointers including attending to any external decorating, making sure you get your boiler or other heating serviced, do any loft insulating needed, check all windows and doors are draught proofed, make sure any extractor fans are working to avoid condensation, checking and clearing guttering, cleaning patios and paths and making sure any exterior lighting is working. There is also instruction on dry lining walls.
The most common summer job (according to our users) is painting the woodwork and masonry of the outside of the home. We will deal with painting masonry another time but today we can take a look at the best way to prepare your timber windows, doors, fascia boards etc for a coat or two of paint.
Preparation for painting is more important than the painting itself.
You may be happy to do the same job three or four times a year but if, like us, you would prefer to do it right, once every three years, then good preparation is the key.
We have a whole list of projects on the website to help you prepare, and then paint your woodwork and these are listed below. Just click on the link you want to go to.
There are many more painting projects on the website as well as projects on how to clean paint brushes and how to paint both metal and timber garage doors.
As you view each project, look to the left and at the bottom of each page where you will see a list of projects related to the one you are reading. By following these related projects you will be able to gain all the knowledge you need to work your way round the house.
At the very bottom of each page is a tool store where you can click any buy all of the tools and many of the materials you need to complete the job.