Electrical Safety for Older Adults

SAMSUNGElectrical safety is important to me, so I’d like to help spread the word.  You’ve probably heard me mention the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) in the past, or you might even know of it without my help. Did you know that older adults (65+) are at a higher risk of being injured, or worse from home fires? The reason behind this are cooking-related fires, electrical malfunctions and failures that are associated with lighting and heating equipment. Identifying these causes and understanding how to avoid them is the surest bet at prevention and maintaining a safe environment, especially if someone lives alone.

Here are some helpful tips to keep you and your home free of electrical hazards.

  • Keep your electrical panel easily accessible; don’t block it with furniture or put things in the path that allows you to get to it. If there is an emergency, you can quickly reach it to turn off power
  • Replace fuses and circuit breakers with proper sizes and amperage; make sure your panel is properly labeled. It also helps to upgrade your breakers to AFCI Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters which can detect an unintended electrical arc and automatically shut off power
  • Electrical outlets should not buzz, crackle, be warm, or overloaded with appliances; test your ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI outlets) once a month
  • Regularly check wires, cord and plugs for wear and damage; extension cords are only meant to be used temporarily
  • Install and check smoke alarms regularly

You can find additional information and some very helpful videos at http://www.esfi.org/ and learn about fire safety.

As always, thanks for reading,


Bryan Hayes, along with his brother Todd, is a co-owner of a Sanibel Air & Electric company on Sanibel, FL. Bryan can be reached at Bryan@Sanibelair.com


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