The chances of electrical accidents at home for the elderly are greater because so many live in older or low-quality housing equipped with outdated or faulty electrical systems and appliances. Living spaces like these can be hazardous because they do not comply with electrical safety standards. They often do not have life-saving electrical features like PVC wiring, circuit breakers, or a modern electrical panel.
The likelihood of accidents is also increased if the senior has a condition that affects mobility and memory, such as Parkinson’s and dementia. If you are concerned about the safety of a senior citizen at home, consider the following items:
Fuse Box or Circuit Breaker Panel
If a home’s fuses frequently blow or circuit breakers repeatedly trip, contact a licensed electrician and have your fuse box or circuit breaker panel inspected as soon as possible. Either problem may lead to a deadly electrical fire.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)
A GFCI is a circuit breaker designed to shut off electric power within 1/40th of a second when a ground fault occurs. Receptacle type outlets incorporate the GFCI and are essential for safety in places where water is present, like the kitchen or bathroom.
If a home is 50 years old or more, it should have a safety inspection performed by an electrician regularly. Typical code violations in older homes are damaged wiring, overloaded circuits, faulty breaker panels, improperly sized wiring, and poor electrical connections. Wiring problems are the main causes of fire or electrocution.
Power cords and plugs should be in good condition, showing no signs of damage or excessive wear and tear. Wires should be completely enclosed within its PVC sheath. A three-pin plug should have its grounding pin intact and not modified.
ESFI Safety Guide for Elderly
The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is devoted to promoting electrical safety at home and at work. Download a Free ESFI Toolkit: Home Fire Safety for Older Adults
Part 2 will discuss smoke alarms, assistive technology, and home heating.
Electrical Peace of Mind
Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs, including:
- Commercial & Residential Electrical Installations
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For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at (410) 266-9040. We will be very glad to help you.