Electrical Safety in the Home for Older People

Accidents due to electrics is a daily hazard for most people, this is why we have our fuse boxes and appliances checked and repaired by professional electricians. We know to make sure that we treat electricity with respect and use all appliances, switches, cords etc. cautiously and carefully. As we get older however, electrical accidents pose more of a risk to older people. If they’ve lived in the same property for many years, there may be faulty electrics and appliances which have remained in a state of disrepair.

Older People are More Vulnerable to Electrical Accidents

It’s a sad fact that many older people, especially over the age of 75, are living in property that’s in need of repair with a shortage of modern facilities. This can mean they are far more susceptible to electrical accidents. Added to this is the fact that many older people are suffering with dementia and Parkinson’s Disease, so they’re even more vulnerable to accidents.

RCDs - RCD stands for Residual Current Device which works to cut out power when there’s an accident so you don’t receive an electric shock. You check to see whether you have an RCD by pressing a test button. Once pressed it should switch off the power, but if you don’t have one, then you can use a plug-in RCD for the sockets.

Fusebox – This controls the electricity so as you can imagine, it’s important you check that it’s working as it should. There are main switches, fuses and circuit breakers on a fusebox so look out for these, if it has a wooden back to it, or any cast iron switches then it could be an outdated one. A registered electrician should take a look.

Light fittings - Look out for discolouration, curled labels, scorching, marks or burns. Always get anything like this, checked by an electrician. Cables which have cracking or splitting shouldn’t be used, and if you see any damage or cuts then the plug or lead needs replacing.

Plugs and sockets – Electrics over 50 years old pose a danger to the elderly so they must be updated. Burn marks, sockets which have been mounted on skirting boards, as well as damaged sockets and plugs are worth looking out for.

Priority register – This is for older people, under which they are entitled to a tailored billing service, this also provides them with alternative facilities for cooking and heating when things go wrong as well as free meter readings, so it’s worth pursuing.

EICR - If the property is significantly old, at least over 50 years and the electrics have not been checked for the last 10 years, a registered electrician will be able to carry out an EICR which is an Electrical Installation Condition Report. They can then carry out any repairs which are needed.

Smoke Alarm – Finally, make sure you check smoke alarms, and if the property doesn’t have any, you should get some, making sure you change the batteries every year. Press the Test button once in a while to make sure it’s in full working order. Your local Fire and Rescue Service will be able to install smoke alarms for you.

GW Electrics – Trained, Reliable, First Class Electricians Glasgow

If you have an elderly relative or friend and you’re concerned about the safety of their electrics, then get in touch with us here at GW Electrics. All our technicians are qualified, trained and experienced, and we’re happy to carry out an EICR and carry out any work that needs doing.