Worrying new research shows young Brits are prepared to tackle dangerous outdoor electrics


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Debbie Shields | Communications Manager
Consumer News
  • Over two thirds of the nation (66%) will make outdoor improvements as they gear up their garden for a staycation summer

  • Brits plan to spend, on average, £1,000 on garden projects

  • Hot tubs, garden pubs and feature lighting are top of the garden installation list

  • Shockingly, one in 10 are planning on installing outdoor electrics themselves instead of hiring a registered electrical contractor

  • Generation Z are most likely to take on a dangerous electrical garden project

As the UK prepares for a summer of staycations, Brits are spending thousands on updating their outdoor space, but many could be putting lives at risk by tackling dangerous DIY electrical work to create an insta-worthy garden full of fancy new features. 

Garden pubs, hot tubs and feature lighting are top of the garden improvement list this summer according to new research* by NICEIC, the UK’s leading name for registered electrical contractors. Worryingly though, 34% of 18-24 year olds believe installing electrics outside is safer than indoors and would attempt the work themselves rather than bringing in a registered electrical contractor.

On average, Brits are planning on spending an average of £1,000 on updating their garden, as 68% of people surveyed said their outdoor space was important for entertaining this year. Despite the dangers of dabbling in electrics, 1 in 10 adults are likely to carry out the work themselves instead of hiring a registered electrical contractor, putting them and their families in danger. 

In spite of restrictions beginning to ease, homeowners are still planning on hosting parties outside and plan to make the most of the British summer. The top five garden installations are:

  • Outdoor lighting (51%)

  • Summer house (34%)

  • Hot tub (22%)

  • Garden office (20%)

  • Outdoor pub/bar (17%)

Paul Collins, NICEIC’s Technical Services Manager, comments: “As a nation that has spent the best part of 15 months at home, we’ve come to see the value in upgrading our properties, and the garden is no exception. However, our advice to any ambitious gardener or homeowner is not to get carried away and attempt to dabble in potentially dangerous and unsafe electrical work without the right skills and knowledge to install it properly and safely.

“Stark statistics from ROSPA** highlight that around 300,000 people in the UK are hurt in their gardens each year seriously enough to go to hospital. According to charity Electric Safety First, 1 in 10 Brits have also suffered an electric shock or accident using electrical equipment and appliances outside. 

“We all want to create that party garden and enjoy spending time with our family and friends with a newly installed bar or feature lighting, but it’s important to consider the hazardous elements such as adverse weather and wet products like hot tubs and sprinklers which can be one of the biggest risks when it comes to electrical safety if not installed correctly. 

“Not only do these ‘wet products’ need to be placed away from electrical equipment, but any cabling must be suitable for outside installation. In addition, outside sockets must be RCD (residual current device) protected for safety, which works by switching off the flow of electricity when a cable or flex is cut or damaged.

“We know it may be tempting to have a go at installing a new feature, but it is simply not a risk worth taking and homeowners would be best placed to call on the services of a, registered electrical contractor such as those registered with the NICEIC – and, in turn, keep their homes and families safe this summer.”


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