The invention of electricity had tremendous significance for humankind. It changed lifestyles forever- for the good, of course. From basic lighting, to countless convenience gadgets, to cooking, washing clothes and cleaning the house; Electricity is essential in our daily lives.
But every convenience calls for caution and that is precisely why electricity safety is so important for older adults. Here are a few important things to keep in mind to ensure electrical safety at home.
Warning Signs and Potential Electrical Issues
Electricity is useful but it can also be hazardous if not handled correctly. Poorly installed, outdated, damaged and poorly maintained wiring should be immediately replaced as it can lead to major electricity shocks or fires which spread swiftly and can cause severe damage to property and elderly people at home. Knowing about the warning signs and potential issues about electrical system failures can help you ensure home safety for senior citizens and everyone else at home.
Some major warning signs are: –
• Wrongly installed lights
• Burning smells
• Hot Switches or Outlets
• Sparks in the electrical system
• Damage to the wiring
• Loose Outlets or wiring
• Frequent Power Outages
• Short circuits
• Using the wrong type of fuse
• A ground fault
Safety Tips for elderly
It just takes one fault to spark a fire which is why preventive measures are very important to avoid such situations. Being safe when using light bulbs, extension cords, and electrical appliances is easy, especially when people include electricity safety rules in the way the household functions. Here are a few ways you can keep your ageing parents safe at home: –
1. Repair or Replace Damaged Electrical Cords
Damaged or cracked cords are a major electrical safety risk for homes. Check all power and extension cords regularly to spot any signs of cracking and repair them as required to ensure electric shock safety. Add electrical outlets in a site that’s easily accessible for the elderly to be able to use. Make sure you do not use too many cords scattering under the carpet or furniture. While cords under the carpet can overheat and pose risks, furniture can damage wires and squash cord insulation.
2. Add Extra Lighting
A poor and dim lighting system can increase the threat of trips and falls for older adults at home. With growing age, the eyesight starts to fail and this aspect often gets overlooked. Dim lighting can make things worse so make sure there is sufficient light especially in corridors, stairs, bathrooms, etc. Besides, you can choose to replace regular bulbs with LEDs for better brightness and reduced power consumption.
3. Unplug all your Unused Electrical Appliances
One of the key electricity safety rules which are often ignored is unplugging an appliance when not in use. It will help you save power by cutting down the electricity cost as well as ensuring basic electrical safety at home. Unplugging unused appliances in the house can help you avoid the chances of overheating. You should consider replacing old appliances with the new invention of smart plugs, helping you to set schedules for each outlet.
4. Kitchen Safety
In any home, the kitchen is the place where most accidents happen so you must focus on creating a safe environment here. Appliances like kettles, irons, and toasters need to have automatic shut-off features to avoid any risks in case they are left on. In addition to that, you must change old kitchen appliances with updated ones. Remember, old devices and appliances tend to break down over time so it is wise to replace them.
5. Install Smoke Alarms
Most of the fatal fires happen when people are in deep sleep. Since smoke tends to put people into a deeper sleep, which can be fatal, rather than waking them up, it is crucial to install an automatic early warning system on each level of your home. To ensure safety for seniors living alone, keep alarms inside the bedroom and different areas in the home. In case an elderly person in your home has diminished hearing power, you should set up a smoke alarm that uses a vibration technique or flashing light to warn people in case of a fire emergency.
6. Keep Electrical Items Away from Water
The most important fact about electricity is that it does not go well with water. So, you should never keep susceptible electrical devices or appliances near water as it may cause the elderly person to be a victim of a critical shock. It is crucial to keep electrical equipment away from bathtubs, aquariums, plant pots, and showers. Now, this is one electrical safety rule that must be followed to the T.
7. Protect Your Outlets
No matter whether you have kids or older adults at home, you need to ensure that all the outlets are tamper-resistant to avoid the risk of electrocution or electrical fire. You must check all outlets frequently to ensure they have shielding faceplates, are cool to the touch, and in the best working condition.
By keeping these electricity safety tips in mind, you can ensure home safety for seniors. While taking proper care of the elderly can be a complicated task with its numerous demands, it is still crucial to give them proper care and everything they need for their safety and health.
If you are not able to spend sufficient time with your parents or living in a different country or city due to work commitment, you should look for a professional elder care service to ensure safety for seniors living alone. That is where we step in at EMOHA and ensure that it is always #EldersFirst