Safety for Seniors

At Maritime Electric we want our customers to be safe. Over the years seniors have asked for electrical safety information and in response to their requests we are proud to partner with the PEI Seniors Safety Program, to help educate seniors about the potential hazards of electricity and how to prevent electrical injuries.

Heating
  • Make sure portable heaters have the required space around them.
  • Check the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the required space is maintained.
  • Space heaters should have a feature that shuts them off automatically if they tip over.
  • Avoid leaving portable space heaters unattended when in use.
Appliances and Equipment
  • Never leave electric hot plates unattended when in use.
  • Ensure electrical appliances do not get wet.
Lighting
  • Ensure you have the correct wattage bulb in the socket. The wattage rating is noted on the appliance and socket.
  • Many types of light bulbs generate heat. Make sure lighting is kept away from flammable material (i.e. drapes).
  • Keep electrical appliances away from sink and bath water.
  • Unplug appliances before moving, cleaning or repairing them.
  • Unplug your toaster before recovering a wedged piece of food.
  • Turn off heating and cooking appliances before leaving home.
Home Wiring
  • Always hire a qualified licensed electrician to perform electrical work in your home.
  • Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) where required.
Breakers and Fuses
  • If a breaker trips frequently the circuit may be overloaded or damaged.
  • If a fuse blows, turn off all appliances and lights on the circuit before changing the fuse.
  • Only replace blown fuses with a fuse that has the correct rating.
  • The rating should be listed on the front of the fuse and clearly marked on the fuse box.
  • Label any disconnected circuits so that someone else does not accidently reconnect your electricity.
  • Know where the breakers and boxes are located in case of an emergency.
  • Do not block access to circuit breakers or fuse boxes.
  • Label all circuit breakers and fuse boxes clearly. Each switch should be positively identified as to which outlet or appliance it is for.
Plugs and Cords
  • Always unplug a cord by pulling on the plug not the cord.
  • Don’t overload wall sockets or electrical power bars.
  • Do not remove or bypass the third prong on a plug. It is there for safety reasons.
  • Power bars are easy to use, but do not increase circuit capacity.
  • The total demand on power bars should not exceed what would normally be plugged into an outlet.
  • Beware of non-certified power bars. All power bars sold in Canada must be CSA (Canadian Standards Association) or UL (Underwriters Laboratories) approved.
  • Use safety caps to keep children from putting things into electrical outlets.
  • Never remove a plug when your hands are wet.
Extension Cords
  • Use an extension cord that is properly rated for the load and only use it temporarily.
  • Keep extension cords away from water.
  • Do not run extension cords under your carpet.
  • Beware of non-certified extension cords. All extension cords sold in Canada must be CSA (Canadian Standards Association) or UL (Underwriters Laboratories) approved.
Protect your Pets
  • Ensure any loose electrical cords are tucked out of sight behind appliances.
  • Pet-proof cords are available in some stores.
  • Cords can be coated with a bitter substance available at pet stores to discourage chewing.
  • Be sure to plug your cord fully into a socket as partially exposed prong can be dangerous to a curious pet.
  • Pets should not sleep behind electrical appliances such as computers, dryers, etc.
  • Lamps with exposed bulbs and freestanding lamps can become quite warm and could start a fire if knocked over by your pet.
Lighting your Property
  • Ensure temporary outdoor lighting such as holiday or seasonal lighting is connected to a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter.
  • If using a ladder stay away from overhead wires.
  • Fall-related injuries often increase while decorating for holidays. Be sure of good footing and avoid uneven surfaces if using a ladder.
Lawn, Garden Tools and Projects
  • Not sure whether you have an underground electrical service? Contact Maritime Electric before you dig a trench or till on your property.
  • Check for overhead power lines and location of your service entrance prior to setting up a ladder or trimming trees.
  • Use garden tools and appliances that have three prong plugs.
  • Inspect your garden tools’ electrical cords for frayed insulation. If frayed, repair before using.
  • Use Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlets for outdoor plugs.
  • When planting trees or shrubs avoid placing them under power lines.
Emergency
  • Be prepared for an emergency. Keep a flashlight with fresh batteries near your bedside.
  • Remove any clutter from doors, stairs and hallways that could be a tripping hazard in the dark.
  • If someone in your house uses life support or needs an essential service (i.e. oxygen) please call Maritime Electric at 1-800-670-1012.

Electrical Safety for Seniors [PDF-656 KB]