In the UK over 47 per cent of victims of accidental fires are over the age of 60, many of these caused by electricity.
Let’s face it we’re all going to get old and perhaps a little forgetful, so wouldn’t it be nice to know that there’s someone who can help us understand the dangers of electricity. With this guide you will be able to help older people around you…
Turning the TV off
It may sound like a really simple one but when you’re older it’s incredibly easy to forget to turn the TV off. Forgetting to do this can be a real danger if left on overnight. A TV left on throughout the night can get very hot, quickly becoming a fire risk.
Older people have extension leads in their homes, however although there may be sufficient sockets to plug appliances in, it may not always be safe for them to do so. Different electrical appliances use different amounts of power. To avoid the risk of fire, an extension lead should never have appliances plugged in that use more than 13 amps or 3000 watts of energy.
To put this in context, plugging three items as simple as a vacuum cleaner, an electric blanket and an electric radiator into the same extension lead would overload it. So would plugging both a washing machine and a tumble drier in. Even just plugging a microwave and an electric heater into the same extension lead would overload it. For their safety, it’s important that older people know this.
Many people not just the elderly use electric heaters, Ensuring proper use of electric heaters is essential, Here’s a quick check list
- Don’t place things on top of your heater
- Don’t use your heater to dry clothes
- Never cover the surfaces of your heater or obstruct the air grilles
- Be careful with the arrangement of your furniture, ensure no furniture is in the way of the heater
- It’s a good idea to fit a guard if young children are left unsupervised near the heater
- Ensure there’s a gap of at least 6 inches between your curtains and the top of the heater
Check the cooker is turned off
Another simple one but of course still very important. To avoid fire, ensure older people you know get into the habit of checking they’ve turned the cooker off when they’ve finished cooking and also making sure they’ve turned the heat off under pans on the hob.
Cleaning the cooker
And on the subject of cookers, it’s important to ensure older people are keeping their cookers clean. A build up of fat inside an oven can cause a fire.
Using appliances in the bathroom
Ensure older people aren’t using mains-powered portable appliances such as hairdryers, heaters or radios in the bathroom. Electricity and water are a lethal combination, people could be severely injured or worse, killed.
Ensure they’re cutting the grass and not the cable
When gardening ensure they have the cable out of the way so only the grass gets cut! Also ensure they are only gardening when it’s dry.
If the cable does get damaged, it should be repaired or replaced immediately.