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

People are willing to undertake risky DIY electrical installations for an insta-worthy garden

As we prepare for a summer of staycations, we're investing in our outdoor spaces with all kinds of fun features. Outdoor lighting, garden bars, hot tubs, summer houses - you name it.

Garden party ideas to welcome guests in style

But while we're giving our gardens a glow-up, we could be putting lives at risk by scrimping on installation. In our efforts to create an insta-worthy garden, many are willing to take on dangerous DIY electrical work themselves.

outdoor garden with cushion and hanging potted plants

(Image credit: Future Publishing Ltd)

Dangerous outdoor electrics warning

The NICEIC, the UK’s leading name for registered electrical contractors warns of the potential dangers. ‘We all want to create that party garden and enjoy spending time with our family and friends,’ says Paul Collins, NICEIC’s Technical Services Manager.

‘But it’s important to consider the hazardous elements such as adverse weather and wet products like hot tubs and sprinklers.' He says these can be one of the biggest risks if not installed correctly.

Paul also explains that not only do these ‘wet products’ need to be placed away from electrical equipment, but any cabling must be suitable for outside installation. ‘Outside sockets must be RCD (residual current device) protected for safety.

outdoor area with black metal stool

(Image credit: Future Publishing Ltd)

'This switches off the flow of electricity when a cable or flex is cut or damaged,' he says.

‘We know it may be tempting to have a go at installing a new feature,' continues Paul. 'But it is simply not a risk worth taking. Homeowners would be best placed to call on the services of a registered electrical contractor and, in turn, keep their homes and families safe this summer.’

Garden bar ideas, hot tubs and feature lighting are top of the garden improvement list this summer. But, worryingly, 34% of 18-24 year-olds believe installing electrics outside is safer than indoors. Plus, they would attempt the work themselves rather than bringing in a registered electrical contractor.

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outdoor living room with green lawn

(Image credit: Future Publishing Ltd)

This issue ties into the huge trend for bringing the indoors out - for inspiration, take a look at our outdoor living room ideas.

Upcycling ideas for the garden

Despite the dangers of fitting electrical appliances ourselves, 10% of adults are likely to carry out the work themselves. Although restrictions are starting to ease, our post-lockdown relationship with our homes means we're still planning on hosting plenty of parties outside to make the most of the summer.

It's 100% not worth risking it when it comes to outdoor electrics. If you feel like you're winging it, it's time to call in the professionals.

Millie Hurst
Senior Content Editor

Millie Hurst was Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home from 2020-2022, and is now Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. Before stepping into the world of interiors, she worked as a Senior SEO Editor for News UK in both London and New York. You can usually find her looking up trending terms and finding real-life budget makeovers our readers love. Millie came up with the website's daily dupes article which gives readers ways to curate a stylish home for less.