WITH THE weather picking up, those of us lucky to have gardens are bound to be spending more time outside, enjoying the sunshine.
And if you’re green-fingered, now is the perfect time to get your sleeves rolled up and get your garden reading for Summer.
But when it comes to gardening tasks, it seems that there’s one job you should avoid.
No matter if you’re a maestro or a beginner, with this job, gardening experts have advised people to avoid tackling it yourself, even if you’re determined to save the money getting the professionals in.
According to the latest figures, one in 10 people in the UK experience electric shocks when installing and using electrics in the garden.
As a result, Paul Collins, head of technical services at NICEIC (The National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting), reveals that everything from installing new outdoor lighting to fitting an external plug socket can put you at risk of serious injury if you're not properly qualified.
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Paul explained: “With gardens becoming an extension of our home, electrical installations are becoming much more common and complex in outside spaces.
“So in the UK we would always recommend talking to a NICEIC certified contractor.
“This type of work can be very dangerous if installed incorrectly.”
According to Paul, the increased risk of wet and windy summer weather means that homeowners must now take even greater care when considering installing and using outdoor electrical items and equipment.
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He said: “Water and electricity are never a good mix so when it comes to adding outdoor electrics, it is important to ensure it is installed correctly and safely.”
So if you want to add external sockets for gardening tools and equipment such as strimmers or lawn mowers, or for outdoor lighting, it's best to always ask an electrician to fit them.
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In addition this, a professional should check that such sockets should have the correct IP (Ingress Protection) Rating.
This protects water from coming into contact with the electrical current, which can be life-threatening.
And not just this, but if you can’t afford a hot tub and want an affordable, inflatable hot-tub, it’s important to get a professional to deal with the electrics too.
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Paul explained: “If you’re bringing a temporary hot tub out this summer, you should always call in the help of a certified electrical contractor.
“There are a variety of technical considerations that must be taken into account.
“Many small, temporary hot tubs may come with a standard 13-amp plug.
“If you are planning on running an extension lead to where the hot tub is situated, ensure that the lead is fit for the load of the hot tub and is suitable to be used outside.
“However, it is not something I would recommend.
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“If you are looking to install a permanent hot tub, you may need to have it installed on a separate circuit and the installer will need to consider other technical requirements.
“Your local certified electrical contractor will be able to best advise.”
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