I have a dangerous hobby but I follow five rules to keep me safe

A man who explores abandoned buildings for his YouTube channel has five rules to keep him safe.

Dave O'Connell, 50, from Wavertree, runs a YouTube channel called Exploring With Me Dave, where he investigates abandoned structures across Liverpool and Wirral. His videos range from abandoned buildings and farms to underground bunkers. Dave discusses with his audience the history of the buildings while he films what they look like inside.

When he set out to start a YouTube channel, Dave said he'd "had enough" of people giving urban explorers "a bad name."

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Dave told the ECHO: “I was actually watching urban explorers for some time and they were always getting a bad name. You get the hooligans going and smashing things up and I’d had enough of it.

"I worked at sea originally but became sick in 2019 and got tumours in my feet. After my first operation in 2020, I wanted to prove that urban explorers have a good name."

Dave explained that, along with being careful, there are five rules he always follows when he's out exploring: "No fire, no theft, no graffiti, no smashing and no breaking in."

The illustrations on the wall of the Littlewoods bunker
The illustrations on the wall of the Littlewoods bunker -Credit:Kyle May

Dave's videos originally focused solely on Liverpool, but he decided to branch out to Wirral due to the number of subscribers he now has from across Merseyside.

Dave told the ECHO: "“The Wirral is a fantastic place and people don’t really understand. You immediately think of Birkenhead and Wallasey but there’s so much more.”

Dave always warns followers of his content not to attempt what he does due to the highly dangerous nature of the activity. He added: "YouTube are really cracking down on inexperienced people posting videos of urban exploration because copycats don't [...] stay safe.

"I had two young girls yesterday wanting to know how I got in somewhere and I had to tell them it's too dangerous. You have to be careful. We never give our locations away so people aren't encouraged to copy us. And you always have to remember the five rules."

Warning: do NOT attempt to copy Dave due to the highly dangerous nature of the activity.