Parents and the elderly become increasingly reliant upon their kids, loved ones and carers for help as they age. Economic and medical problems are common worries for the elderly. However, fire prevention and other hazards frequently associated with electricity and electrical objects or appliances around the house can be neglected.
Research shows that one million people over 75 live in houses that are not warm enough and are also in a state of disrepair. These houses can be very dangerous because they don’t meet basic modern day electrical safety standards. Here at Circuit City Electrical, we encourage everyone to take the time to look around the homes of their aged loved ones to identify electrical safety issues and hazards that could potentially be dangerous. We encourage you to follow the safety precautions below.
- Cables need to be in good condition with no signs of any damage, cracking or splitting and ought to be enclosed in a PVC sheath. Cuts, damage or signs of excessive wear and tear mean that the lead or plug may need changing. Try as much as possible to avoid trailing cables across the ground or underneath carpets and rugs as this can be a trip hazard.
- Look and pay attention for warnings of electrical trouble. Contact a certified electrician if you examine problems with outlets or switches that are warm or make crackling, scorching, or humming noises, or if you see flickering or dimming lighting.
- If your electrics are over 20 years old, we recommend checking them as they may need updating. Old electrics may be damaged and require a qualified electrician’s attention. The things to look out for are damaged plugs and sockets, visible burn marks etc.
- Install Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in regions in which energy is near a water supply, including within the kitchen and restroom. These work by restricting the circuit’s power supply if they detect abnormalities in the energy flowing into and out of the circuit, thus reducing the possibility of electrocution.
- Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors/alarms. Every property has to have a working smoke detector and the batteries ought to be changed each year. You could test the smoke detector by pressing the ‘check’ button (with assistance if needed). Here at Circuit City Electrical, we can supply smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and can install these for you. We will ensure that you have the correct number of alarms and that they are fully functional and match the design of your home.
- Ask your energy company or local electrician if they offer special considerations or support options for elderly people. If you are an elderly citizen or a family member, it is always worth asking your local electrician if they have any special considerations or services available when using their services. For example, here at Circuit City Electrical, we offer a 10% pensioner discount which can be applied to the final payment once we have completed electrical work for you in order to ensure that we can provide you with the best price possible and help reduce some of the financial stress that can be associated with paying for trade services such as electricians. It is always important to ask as avoiding using an electrician and not getting electrical issues and hazards addressed promptly due to financial restrictions can be dangerous.
In addition to the precautions above, make use of assistive technologies to reduce the electrical risks in your home. Examples include electrical appliances with simplified controls and appliances such as electric cookers with automatic switch off features to prevent overheating.
It is important for the elderly to try and keep safe wherever possible and to live comfortably. Therefore, asking for electrical assistance from a local electrician when needed and promptly is important in order to ensure that the elderly live the best life possible in their best years.