Safety in the Family Room for Seniors

  • senior_sofa_man_shutterstock_44935609Make sure all extension cords bear the UL Mark.
  • Never keep an extension cord plugged in when not in use. The cord will still conduct electricity until it is unplugged from the outlet.
  • Never use an extension cord that is cut, damaged or repaired. Touching even a single exposed strand of wire as fine as a thread can cause an electric shock or burn.
  • Never run an electrical cord under a rug or carpet, or drape it over a hot surface such as that of a radiator or space heater. If a rug or other items cover the cord, heat cannot escape, the cord can become too hot and a fire could possibly start.
  • When replacing a light bulb in a portable lamp or fixture, make sure that the replacement bulb is of equal or lesser wattage than that recommended by the lamp or fixture manufacturer. Using a light bulb of higher wattage than the manufacturer recommends can cause the lamp or fixture to overheat and start a fire.
  • Only use portable electric air heaters as a supplementary source of heat; these devices are not intended to replace home heating systems and should not be used without supervision. Always keep flammable materials including bedding, clothing, draperies, rugs and furniture at least three feet away from the heater.
  • Check all rugs and runners for tripping hazards like bumps and turned up corners.
  • Inspect the fireplace and chimney for fire hazards.
  • Make sure all passageways are clear.


The above is an excerpt from the article, “Older adult safety tips by room.” For more information, please visit

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