Protecting curious kids from electrical hazards is a top priority for parents and anywhere in the world. As a leading Electrician, MC Electrical & Communications receives many requests to childproof electrical outlets and recommends safe practices. Childproofing your home’s electrical system is essential, as uncovered outlets pose a severe risk to infants and toddlers. Read on for tips from expert electricians on childproofing outlets and maintaining electrical safety.
Why Childproofing Outlets Matters
Unprotected electrical outlets are very dangerous for kids. Children’s natural curiosity leads them to stick items into outlets, which can cause severe burns or lethal electric shock. Childproofing outlets is crucial, as a CDC study found that over 2,400 children suffer injuries from inserting objects into electrical outlets annually. Tragically, these accidents can be fatal. Childproofing outlets protect your kids’ safety and could save their lives.
Childproofing Methods for Electrical Outlets
There are several effective ways to childproof the outlets in your home. The safest method is to install tamper-resistant (TR) outlets. TR outlets have a built-in shutter system that only opens when equal pressure is applied to both shutters. It prevents kids from inserting an object into only one slot. Upgrading to tamper-resistant outlets is the best way to childproof your existing electrical system.
Another option is outlet covers. These plastic guards fit over an outlet to block access. Outlet covers work on most standard outlets and is an affordable DIY solution. However, they are less secure than tamper-resistant outlets. It is recommended to use tamper-resistant outlets whenever possible.
Finally, parents can use plastic safety plugs. These plugs are inserted into outlets to block foreign objects from entering. Safety plugs are a temporary option, but kids can pry them out over time. For permanent childproofing, tamper-resistant outlets or outlet covers are better choices.
Hiring a Professional Electrician
While outlet covers are easy to install, upgrading your outlets to tamper-resistant models requires an electrician. A licensed electrician team has extensive experience with outlet replacement and electrical safety upgrades.
The benefits of hiring a professional include:
- Correct installation – Electricians ensure new tamper-resistant outlets are installed to Australian electrical standards. DIY mistakes can leave unsecured wires or gaps that compromise safety.
- Whole home upgrade – They can replace all standard outlets for complete childproofing. Professional electricians work efficiently to minimize disruption.
- Future issues prevented – Old outlets prone to overheating or arcs can be proactively replaced before problems occur.
- Upgrading to tamper-resistant outlets requires turning off power at the circuit breaker. Professional electricians safely manage this process. We also handle the disposal of old outlets and recycling.
Ongoing Electrical Safety Tips
Beyond outlet replacement, parents should follow these tips to maintain home electrical safety:
- Use outlet caps or covers when tamper-resistant outlets are unavailable. Check for damage and replace as needed.
- Keep electrical cords out of reach. Use anchors or ties to secure them against walls.
- Insert plastic safety plugs when outlets are not in use. Check regularly to ensure they stay put.
- Keep heaters and fans away from water sources and use GFCI outlets.
- Do not overload outlets with too many plugs.
- Check for loose outlets, damage, overheating, or sparking. Call an electrician immediately if issues are found.
- Keep electronics in good repair, and don’t use appliances with damaged cords.
Following these tips and upgrading to tamper-resistant outlets will help parents keep their kids safe from electrical hazards. The small investment is well worth it for peace of mind. Remember that for professional childproofing of electrical outlets or other electrical safety services, you can contact the experts.
Interesting Related Article: “Electrical Safety Tips Every Homeowner Must Know“