The hardware stores are booming – and the amateur DIY enthusiasts are risking their health
| Reading time: 3 minutes
The pandemic is fueling the DIY trend. The hardware stores are a crisis winner and are celebrating sales records. But too much euphoria when dowelling and hammering can quickly turn into overconfidence.
A.There were not many reasons to celebrate last year. However, DIY stores could see it differently: Despite the pandemic, they had every reason to be happy for a long time. Because until the beginning of the second hard lockdown on December 16, the good business development of the first three quarters continued, according to the trade association for DIY, building and gardening (BHB).
The industry has at least a little more to oppose than other economic sectors. “The many refurbishment, renovation and beautification projects that our customers have tackled in recent months show that there is both the creative potential and the leisure for do-it-yourself projects,” says BHB Managing Director Peter Wüst.
But what is even more gratifying for the industry: Young people have increasingly found their way into the markets in the past year, not just the well-known target group of middle-aged to older do-it-yourselfers.
Before the pandemic, “Do it yourself” couldn’t get the younger generation to do it, but since Corona prevented many other leisure activities, the target group has also discovered DIY. For them, the industry then calls it sleek and modern “Home Improvement”.
A new trend is born, and so the sales record, which could have been over 25 billion euros for the German construction and home improvement stores in 2020, should not remain an exception. Because there will be many repeat offenders – there is no stopping at the one drill, the grass trimmer or the cordless screwdriver. Once you have pegged, you want it again.
Unfortunately, something goes wrong here. According to the German Board of Trustees for Safety in Home and Leisure (DSH), around 300,000 accidents occur each year while doing home improvement. There is a high number of unreported cases because not all accidents or injuries that occur while dowelling and drilling are recorded as such. It is not yet known whether the pandemic led to an increase in the numbers here as well.
But the most common causes of accidents are known. At the top are the improper use of tools or not wearing protective clothing. The DSH also warns that the risk of accidents increases due to lack of concentration or overconfidence.
Do-it-yourselfers get almost half of all injuries to their hands and fingers – it is not without reason that it is called a craft. According to the DSH, the head and face are affected in a good 13 percent of all known cases, the feet “only” in ten percent.
The most common are open wounds, followed by bruises. Sometimes it ends up worse. According to the Federal Statistical Office, around 10,000 people die each year in accidents in their homes. The number of fatal household accidents is almost three times as high as that of road deaths.
What you can learn from this: Wear gloves and protective goggles when handling sharp, moving tools. Sturdy shoes don’t do any harm either. And you shouldn’t overestimate yourself.