Childproofing Your Home For Electrical Hazards
Our dependence on electricity has increased tenfold over the past few decades. If you have an older home, you know how true this is when you look for an electrical outlet to plug in your newest gadget.
But when you have a child, you begin to look at those electrical plugs in an entirely different way. No longer are they just a way to bring your favorite devices to life, they pose as serious threats too. Babies, toddlers, and small children are curious by nature. They roam free, they reach out and touch everything, and it only takes a second for disaster to strike.
Before your baby begins to move freely and get their hands on impending problems, consider childproofing your house from potential electrical hazards before an accident occurs.
The first step is to identify where potential problems lie. You have a different perspective walking around your house than a toddler will have crawling. Get down on your hands and knees and see the world from their perspective. You’ll find electrical cords that are fun to pull, power strips that are fun to play with. Be sure to look behind furniture and up the sides of tables. Toddlers can squeeze into fairly tight places.
Childproofing your electrical outlets is one of the most basic solutions. Every room has multiple outlets, and children have a fascination for them. Outlets are very tempting spots on the wall, a place you can stick just about anything you find into. To prevent this, place electrical outlet caps or safety plates over the top of all unused outlets. This will block tiny fingers and other foreign objects from being inserted into the holes. Current code actually requires that tamper resistant receptacles be installed in the home. Any time an outlet is replaced, or added, then a tamper resistant outlet must be installed. This eliminates the need for plastic caps, or other protection oriented devices.
Chances are you’ll also find some power strips around your home as well. We use them frequently for entertainment centers, television systems or computer setups. Multiple cords are woven into them, and they are usually tucked back in a place where there is a tangle of wires and cables. And of course, your child is instantly attracted to it all. Purchase and install power strip covers or child friendly power bars that wrap around the unit and prevents children from tampering with it.
You should also secure all cords that hang free and provide hazards from above. If a child can pull on an electrical cord, it provides opportunity for shock and damage from items falling down and causing injury to their heads. Secure these hazards by tucking electrical cables out of reach or plugging them into different areas of the room not accessible by children. If cords are too long, wind them up and secure them with a zip tie. You can also use strong tape to attach cords to the floor or rubber cords to secure them to legs and keep them out of harm’s way. Any loose connected cords, or outlets that won’t hold the plug, that are present should be addressed to eliminate the chance of electrical shock.
If you have any questions about electrical safety in your home, contact our trained technicians for more advice.