Throughout the Building

'Throughout the Building' image

Ensure adequate supply of electrical sockets to avoid trailing flexes.

Built in storage cupboards and presses are preferable to freestanding units which can be knocked over easily.

Freestanding appliances such as TV's/hi-fi's may be a hazard. Consider storage units or wall mounting.

Avoid freestanding heating appliances and floor level heating. Radiators may be wall mounted well above floor level to reduce risk of injury during falls through falling directly on top of the appliance or becoming wedged underneath it.

Hot piping should be encased to minimize risk to those who might grab onto it during a seizure.

Use appliances with a low surface temperature.

Open fires are hazardous and probably best avoided - when in use care must be taken to ensure fireguards are secured to the walls or flooring.

Avoid or minimize the use of glass and mirrored panels in doors and other fixtures, where necessary ensure the use of toughened glass to reduce the risk of injury.

Avoid having tight spaces where a person could become trapped during a seizure.

Ground level accommodation is generally preferable, reducing the the risk of falls on stairs.

An alarm/monitoring system which enables emergency contact is useful especially for those living alone.

Where lifts are in place ensure doors remain open when not in use to enable access to any unaccompanied person who might be having a seizure whilst in the lift.

Glare and flicker are factors in those with photosensitive seizures - choose lighting which will not cause glare and flicker problems (15-20 flashes per second is sufficient to trigger a photosensitive seizure). Remember that fluorescent bulbs may cause flicker problems when they are about to blow.

Flooring: Hard tiled surfaces are hazardous during falls and very coarse carpets/matting can lead to friction burns in seizures.

Glare and flicker are factors in those with photosensitive seizures - choose lighting which will not cause glare and flicker problems (15-20 flashes per second is sufficient to trigger a photosensitive seizure). Remember that fluorescent bulbs may cause flicker problems when they are about to blow.

Strong geometric patterns with heavy contrast can also cause reflex seizures in some people and consideration should be given to this if they are incorporated into design features.

Doors which swing open and shut without need for handle mechanisms are generally safer - door handles may be a hazard during falls.

Doorways should be kept clear of door saddles also.

Fireproof furnishing and fabrics will offer protection in situations where a smoker with epilepsy loses consciousness.

Use of safety gates on stairs may be useful to prevent a person with a tendency to wander during seizures from going up or down stairs - however they should never impede access for other users especially in the event of fire.