Changing a lightbulb is one of those simple household tasks that everyone should know how to do. However, many people who think they do know how to change a lightbulb are actually making dangerous mistakes. Here is how to change a lightbulb safely in five steps.

Step One: Use the right equipment

How often do you see someone changing a lightbulb by awkwardly standing on a chair or some alternative method of getting up to reach it? It happens all the time and this can be one of the most dangerous situations to put yourself in. It’s important that you should use a proper step ladder to change the bulb. This will give you both the correct height to reach up to the bulb safely and also a steady and supporting platform to minimise the risk of falling.

Step Two: Handle with care

Another common mistake is to forget that the power is still on. The fact that the bulb has gone out can make you forget that the socket is still live. But it most certainly is live and so you need to make sure that you have turned the light off before you try to change the bulb. To be absolutely certain it may be best to turn off the power in the fuse box.

It’s also true that people forget that the bulb will be very hot, even if you have turned the power off, so you either need to give it a few minutes to cool down or you need to use a dry tea towel (or similar) to protect your hand when you remove the bulb.  

Step Three: Remove the bulb correctly

It’s worth noting that there are two main types of bulb and the way you remove them differs – so it’s worth knowing which type you are working with. The bayonet fitting, which is standard in the UK, is removed by pressing gently upwards and turning anticlockwise until the bulb comes loose.

The second type is the screw fitting. With this type you simply need to twist the bulb anticlockwise until it comes loose.

Step Four: Replace the bulb

Now you need to replace the bulb, reversing the steps above depending on the type of bulb. Make sure that you hold the bulb firmly, but not tightly; squeezing it can cause it to break, which will leave you with a bigger problem.

Step Five: Get rid of the old bulb

Finally you need to dispose of the old bulb properly. Remember that the glass of a bulb is fragile and carelessly slinging it into the rubbish bin can cause it to break, which you may later regret when you come to take the bin out and cut yourself on the sharp fragments. It’s a much better idea to place the old bulb into the packaging of the new one to ensure that it stays safe. You can then get rid of it without the fear of broken glass.