Childproofing Your Home’s Electrical System
June 28, 2018
When you are becoming a new parent and bring a child into your home, there are many steps to take to secure your home and prevent accidents. It is very important to be aware of the potential dangers that your homes electrical system could pose to children in your home. Electricity, lighting, and appliances are an essential part of any household – but they are designed for adult convenience and not child safety.
Outlets will most likely be your main cause for concern when securing your home electrical system. Since there are probably many of them throughout your home and they are easily accessible for children by being low to the ground, they pose a serious threat. According to studies from the National Fire Prevention Association, over 2,000 children suffer electrical shock or burns from accidents due to outlets. Here are the steps you should take to childproof your outlets.
- Outlet covers – placing a plastic cover over the outlet is the simplest and cheapest way to keep your child from sticking anything into them. They are small plastic pieces with two prongs that replicate an electric cord and slide into the outlet. They can be purchased at any store that carries baby safe items like Walmart or Target. They are simple to install and remove for adults, but babies and young children don’t have the dexterity to remove them.
- Sliding Plate Covers – another tool is horizontal sliding plate covers. These are best used for outlets that aren’t constantly in use. They completely cover the electrical outlet and can be slid off to reveal the device when the outlet is ready for use.
- Tamper – Resistant (TR) Receptacles – If you have a newer home (built after 2008) you may already have tamper resistance receptacles. They have spring-loaded shutters that close off the slots of electrical outlets, and only open when both springs compress simultaneously. This allows the shutters to open when a plug is inserted but won’t open if a child we’re to stick an object into one slot. This is overall the safest and most fool-proof solution for securing your outlets.
Like outlets, it can be very easy for crawling or playing children to come in contact with cords on the ground and create an electrical hazard. Here are a few ways you can protect your child from any electrical accidents.
- Occupied outlet covers – some outlets in your home, like for a lamp or television, are constantly plugged in. For these outlets, it’s best to place a piece of furniture or object in front of it to block access to it. If that’s not possible, there are plastic box-like covers that can be put over them that allow the outlet to remain in use but keep children from being able to pull out the cords.
- Power Strips – if you have devices plugged into a power strip in your home, utilize power strip covers to protect them from being tampered with by a child. The power strip cover is a plastic cover with openings for cords but protects the rest of the unit.
- Cord shorteners – long cords in the house that bunch up or lay flat can be a serious hazard for kids. You can use cord shorteners – round cases that you can wrap the excess cord inside – to keep as little of cord exposed as possible.
Contact A Local Licensed Electrician for All Your Electrical Needs
You can do everything you can to secure your home, but there are certain tasks that only a professional can do. For any of your electrician needs, contact a trained, licensed electrician to make sure your home and your family is safe. Empowered Global is a Southwest Florida residential and commercial electrician that is committed to professionalism, dedication, and attention-to-detail. Contact us at 239-330-4520 to schedule an appointment today!