One thing about electrical safety Orange County NY parents should never forget is child proofing their home. As we saw in May, the National Electrical Safety Month, various initiatives were set in motion to teach children about electrical safety and ultimately Ė protect them against any mishaps or serious accidents.
In case you still have doubts about child proofing your home for electrics, here are some frightening stats:
- around 2,500 children are treated annually as a result of wall outlet sock accidents
- around 70% of all electrical accidents that happen at home are child-related
- on average, as many as 10 children die every year as a result of electrocution.
The first thing to do is to call in a trusted Orange County electrician to assess the state of electrics around your home and suggest appropriate baby/child proofing measures. Letís take a look at some of them.
Child proofing electrical outlets
For some reason, children simply cannot resist trying to feed coins, keys (or even forks) to electrical outlets. I donít know why an electrical outlet looks like a hungry face to children but itís definitely not a laughable issue.
Beneath the outlet cover is a receptacle that all the wires screw into. In an unprotected receptacle, the vertical slots are open, so your child can freely poke items into them. To child proof the outlet, you will need a tamper-resistant receptacle. In this type, the slots look like they are filled with plastic. They are virtually sealed off with spring-loaded shutters and the only way both shutters will open is if you push them at the same time. Luckily, your child doesnít have the strength or dexterity to do it, so they wonít be able to poke anything into the outlet.
Empty electrical outlets
These outlets have no appliances plugged into them. The simplest way to child proof them is to use an electrical outlet cap. The best thing about outlet caps is that they are completely flat. This makes it very difficult (if not impossible) for your toddler to remove it, while for you itís easy.
Consult your electrician about the best type of outlet cap to purchase. Some may have a tighter Ďígripíí on the outlet and are more difficult to remove, so they are not so convenient if you have to use the outlet frequently.
Baby-safe electrical covers
The regular outlet cover doesnít provide sufficient protection for your child. You should get a baby-safe one Ė it already contains a spring-loaded plastic cover so your child cannot poke anything into it.
The best thing about a baby-safe outlet cover is that it slips back into the baby-safe position immediately after you remove the plug, which is not the situation with outlet caps, which you have to put back yourself.
Cord and outlet covers
For outlets into which a cord is constantly plugged in (like for the TV or other appliances), itís highly likely your child will find it interesting to pull out the cord from time to time. To prevent that from happening, there are cord and outlet covers available. The child cannot remove the cover.
Child proofing power strips
When you have a lot of plugs but not enough wall outlets, you would naturally use a power strip. If you donít child proof it, the power strip is just lying there with all the outlets literally inviting your child to poke things in.
What you need is a child proof power strip cover that simply slides over the power strip. The cords hang out from the cutouts on the cover. There may still be some room for your child to try and poke objects in, though. Instead of DIY-ing it with some duct tape, consult an electrical safety Orange County technician about the best type of child proofing.
#1 Electrical Safety Orange County NY Professionals
You should always contact a licensed electrician to examine the electrics around your home because childproofing tools may not efficient if the system is faulty. Donít risk the safety of your child by trying to perform repairs on your own. Let the trained and experienced professionals at Patriot Electric handle all things electrical in your home. We put family safety first!