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Vulnerable elderly living in homes that are unsafe

20th February 2015

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

A new report has revealed that more than two thirds of houses lived in by over 60s do not meet basic electrical safety requirements. This means that a large number of elderly people, such as those who rely on equipment such as home stairlifts, could be at potential risk of sudden fires. The cause of this is due to an increasing number of ageing baby boomers and a lack of new houses being built, with rural areas most affected.

The charity who conducted the research, Electrical Safety First, is now calling on the government to take action, as more than a million elderly people are living in homes which do not reach the standards expected. These requirements include life-saving devices such as modern fuse boxes, residual current devices, circuit breakers and PVC wiring.

Charity is urging the government to help those in need

As elderly people are living in their homes for longer, it is more likely that compulsory checks are not being completed, meaning electrical appliances and installations are often older. The housing stock is also currently aging due to a lack of new builds, which will also add to the number of deteriorating electrics in properties.

There are also a number of added worries which the charity highlights, including older people having a fear of letting strangers such as tradesmen into their homes to fix damaged or timeworn electrics. Due to all these factors, a large number of homes that elderly people are living in are not suitable for pensioners to age safely in.

The council in North Yorkshire have since been urging residents to contact the Fire and Rescue Service in order to get the electrics in their homes safety tested. Alongside this, the government has now pledged to provide £2.3 billion to sub-standard council homes to bring them up to the acceptable standard.

Image Credit: Dan Brickley (Flickr.com)

This content was written by Emily Bray. Please feel free to visit my Google + profile to read more stories.