Steve McCabe MP joins campaigners to help keep older people safe from electrical risk this winter

Steve McCabe MP has joined with campaigners to raise awareness of electrical risk among older adults and to encourage their friends and family to help check for electrical danger.

Official figures show that people over 65 in the UK are at greater risk from fires in the home than any other age group. With winter fast approaching, it’s increasingly important to improve awareness of electrical fires, particularly since almost two thirds of fires in British homes are caused by electrical products. The campaign led by charity Electrical Safety First aims to ensure older people can live safely in their own home.

In 2013 -14, almost 40% of deaths from portable heaters were of people aged 80 and over. Yet a survey by the Charity, found more than half of respondents would use portable heaters to keep warm in winter. Elsewhere it’s been estimated that damaged electric blankets are responsible for over 5,000 UK house fires each year.  

As our lifespan increases, we tend to remain in properties for longer, which often means regular home safety checks are forgotten and electrical installations and appliances tend to be older.

Steve McCabe MP said:

“Many older constituents worry about winter fuel bills and use portable heaters and electric blankets to keep warm without heating their entire home.”

Taking just a few moments to ensure electrical sockets, wires and cords are in good condition and sockets aren’t overloaded can make a real difference to the safety of older relatives and friends”.  

Campaigners are also calling for a free, five-yearly electrical safety check for all households with one person aged over 75 and statutory, five-yearly checks in all care homes.

For more information on how to stay electrically safe this winter please visit: http://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guides-and-advice/for-older-people/

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