Electrical Safety for Seniors You Love – Part 2
As discussed in Part 1, the probability of electrical accidents for the elderly at home is greater because so many live in older or low-quality housing equipped with outdated or faulty electrical systems and appliances. The risk increases if the senior has a condition that affects mobility and memory, such as Parkinson’s and dementia. Part 2 will discuss smoke alarms, assistive technology, and home heating.
Each home or apartment should be equipped with smoke alarms, and they should be tested annually. Any alarm older than 10 years should be replaced. A smoke alarm should be installed within each bedroom, outside each sleeping space, and on each floor. Interconnected smoke alarms offer the best protection because when one is activated, so are the others.
As a reminder, requirements of Maryland’s Smoke Alarm Law will become effective New Year’s Day 2018. Its chief goal is to replace 9-volt battery-only powered smoke alarms with smoke alarms that are sealed and powered by 10-year service life batteries with a silence or hush feature.
The installation and use of assistive technology is an efficient method to decrease the chances of electrical accidents for the elderly at home. Below are the features that will help promote safety:
- Automatic off switches for cooking appliances that prevent overheating.
- Safety devices that automatically cut electricity, gas, and water.
- Simple controls for appliances intended to help those with dementia.
Keeping a home comfortably warm during the colder months can lead to costly utility bills. As a result, those with limited incomes turn to electrical blankets and portable heaters as economical alternatives for supplementing main heating sources powered by gas or electricity. Unfortunately, their improper usage can lead to deadly electrical fires.
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
Electrical Peace of Mind
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