Homes today are built with comfort and convenience in mind—and that means having electricity readily available throughout your house. Outlets are present in every room, and whether they have things plugged into them or not, small children will investigate and play with them. While youthful curiosity is normal, sticking their fingers into electrical sockets can put them in scary, potentially dangerous and even deadly situations. It’s for these reasons that households with children should childproof all the outlets in their home.
Here are some tips from an experienced residential electrician in New Milford, CT for keeping your kids safe around electrical outlets.
Use outlet covers
The most common type of electrical outlet cover is a simple piece of plastic that you insert into unused outlets. Plastic outlet covers are recommended for homeowners who have friends’ and family’s kids over from time to time. They are also a good options if you have kids and cannot or don’t want to replace your current outlets. The thing to keep in mind about these covers is that it’s easy to forget to replace them after unplugging a device. When these covers are left sitting around, outlets are exposed, and the covers themselves become a choking hazard.
Install tamper resistant receptacles
A majority of electricity-related accidents occur when an adult is nearby or in the same room as the child, so the National Electrical Code now requires new and renovated homes to have tamper resistant receptacles (TRR), also called childproof outlets. This type of outlet, in which spring-loaded shutters close receptacle slots when not in use, is designed to keep little fingers from pushing random objects into plug receptacles.
Get sliding plate covers
Sliding plate covers (also called self-closing outlet covers) are a more expensive, yet safer cover option. All you have to do is unscrew and remove your existing outlet cover and replace it with a new one. These covers feature a spring-loaded piece of plastic designed to keep outlet slots covered when they aren’t in use. Unlike the plastic covers that simply insert into open outlet slots, sliding plate covers take the place of old outlet covers. When you are done using the cord, just unplug it and the cover automatically moves back into place.
Be wary of cords, cables and outlets
If you have older kids at home, ask them to help you keep an eye out for exposed electrical outlets and cords plugged into outlets. You should also avoid plugging in extension cords if possible, because babies and toddlers like to grab and put things in their mouths. If you must plug in an extension cord, use gaffer tape to hold down the cords. Another tip for keeping your kids safe from electrical dangers is to use furniture to block off their access to outlets. If they can’t see the outlets, then they can’t jam objects into them.
Looking for a skilled and experienced residential electrician in New Milford, CT to install new wiring or perform electrical upgrades? Call the team at ESI Electric LLC today!
Categorised in: Residential Electrician