• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can now be found in our new area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

Heating Problem


Registered User
Oct 29, 2013

Can anyone help with a problem I have? My mum lives on her own in sheltered accommodation and is in early stage Alzheimer's and generally gets on well with my support. However I have one big problem I'm struggling to solve.

My mum has Economy 7 heaters in her living room and hallway, fortunately she also has an instant heat electric heater in the living room along with an electric fire. The Economy 7 works well and is the most economical when used correctly. For those who don't know, the Economy 7 heater needs to be switched on at the wall and left switched on as it stores heat between midnight and 8 am, at 8 it starts to release the heat stored and to a degree the input/output can be controlled.

My problem is my mum has a nasty habit of turning everything off at the wall when she goes to bed, TV, lights, kettle etc and you guessed it the Economy 7 heaters! In the morning she turns everything back on at the wall and can't understand why her heaters don't emit any heat and complains bitterly that they don't work and are faulty (the heaters are brand new and were only installed when she moved in 16 months ago). If left on they work perfectly well. I've had the same old argument with her 100 times about the heaters and how they will work perfectly well if operated correctly but she won't have it. There's something wrong with the heaters not her, sound familiar?!

I'm hoping that there is some sort of lockable box available that I can attach to the switch that I can lock and she can't tamper with, particularly in this cold weather. I've tried putting up notices, I've stuck instructions on the heaters and covered the switch with tape but nothing has deterred her from turning them off!

Does anyone have any practical ideas that I can try before I kill her?!


Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
No, don't kill her! I know how you feel though as I got called out a few weeks ago because my SIL who is deaf keeps switching off the flashing lights which tell her someone is at the door. The management of her sheltered housing check all residents every morning and so if she doesn't answer they assume a problem and phone me. I want to choke her too when she does daft things like that.


Registered User
Oct 26, 2011
If you search for "lockable socket cover" on amazon you can see some of the options. There seems to be two types, ones that are difficult to open but not impossible (the same principle as safety tops on pill bottles) and ones that need a physical key to open them. It will depend on how determined Mum is as to which would be suitable.

If the plug and switch are not visible to remind her they are there then the simpler version might be enough otherwise you will probably need a key lock version.

They will also be available elsewhere - amazon was just an nice easy place to look to start with :)

Good luck