What Your Kids Should Know About Electricity
It’s challenging to raise kids; there’s so much to teach them! We work so hard to get them into activities they love, make sure they’re doing well in school, that sometimes we forget the little things that are super important.
School’s out. Your kids are more likely to be home on their own. And even if you think they are young, responsible people, if you haven’t warned them of all the dangers electricity can bring on, you risk safety for both your kids and your home.
Install updated outlets
When was your house built? When was the last time you had your outlets tested for safety? Outlets can be an extremely dangerous temptation for toddlers – they look perfectly made to stick something into. And those plastic plugs from yesteryear simply aren’t up for the job. Having an electrician install up-to-date childproof outlets that can’t be removed to ensure the safety of everyone who enters your home.
You should also ensure that you have GFCI outlets installed where risk of shock is the highest. Kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms – anywhere where kids and water come together is the perfect spot for GFCI outlets. They monitor the amount of electricity that flows to a particular circuit, and will cut the power if an imbalance is detected. This means you reduce the shock risk for your family.
Add new outlets instead of overloading
Take a walk around your home. Do you have outlets overloaded with plugs? Power strips plugged in to give more opportunity to plug things in? Extension cords to move electricity to other parts of a room? That’s a sign that it may be time to add more outlets.
Originally, outlets were installed periodically throughout a room with a plan in mind. Each circuit can only handle so much electrical draw. When you overpower it, you risk tripping the circuit. It can also put you at more risk of starting a fire. Teach your kids about the importance of respecting what they plug in. Teach them never to keep water bottles or soda cans near power strips and digital devices while plugged in. And if at any time a family member smells a burning odor near an outlet, report it and call in an electrician right away.
Think your kids know how to plug in a cord and pull it back out? If you haven’t taught them, it might be time for a refresher course. Respect everything you plug in by getting a firm grip and sliding the sprockets into the outlet. Never pull a plug out by the cord. Instead, always get a firm grip of the plug and pull it straight out. If you yank it out by the cord, you risk damaging the outlet itself, and risk exposing wires and increasing fire hazards. Never force a plug in that won’t slide in easily.
Never ignore potential problems
We often ignore “little” things. We notice a spark, but put it out of our minds. We smell something, but we don’t have time to investigate further. This can lead to damage and extreme hazards.
Teach kids to notice everything. If they see a potential problem, teach them to alert you immediately. Then use that as a learning opportunity – possibly for the both of you. When in doubt, call in an electrician at the first sign of a problem. It can prevent damaging, even deadly consequences.