Tradespeople will still come to help you in an emergency, but a little common sense and courtesy will help keep them safe as they work

Keeping tradies safe while they help

by Andy Bryenton

What happens when there is an emergency during the emergency? Alternatively, as one plumber this publication spoke to put it ‘what if you have 2,000 toilet rolls and your toilet breaks down?’ 

From glazing to electrical faults to pumps and filters, reticulation and wiring, all of the usual systems, which drive our homes and farms are still susceptible to wear and tear during the lockdown. Tradespeople are dedicated to helping keep those systems functional. However, in exchange for leaving the safety of self-isolation, they ask, collectively, that customers practise a little courtesy and keep them safe while they come to the rescue. 

After talking with electricians and plumbers from busy firms in Dargaville, we’ve ascertained a sensible protocol for dealing with emergency repairs during the lockdown. First of all, call in the fault and describe it as best as possible over the phone. That will allow your trades pro ‘saviour’ to bring the right tools in the van without you having to break isolation. While the van is on its way, and if the fault is indoors, for example, a hot water cylinder or fuse box, please spray and wipe all nearby surfaces, then ‘quarantine’ the room the fault is in. It will protect the tradesperson as they work. Don’t come into the room while they are operating if you can help it. Our correspondents say it’s natural for some folks to ‘hover’ and watch the repair, but right now this is unsafe. Once it’s fixed and tested, the tradesperson will tidy up and repeat the spray and wipe process for you, then retreat to their van. If needed, communications on the job can be by mobile phone, especially if the job is being done outdoors or under the house. Pay via internet banking to avoid cash handling if possible.

Be aware that some rare and specialised parts may be hard to source for the next month, and be kind to your tradies. They will be working extra hard to keep us all safe for the lockdown’s duration.